Ricotta - Recipe from Home Cheesemaking by Ricki Carroll
1 gallon whole milk (can not be ultra pasteurized or it will not work)
1 tsp. citric acid dissolved in 1/4 c. cool distilled water (yes it needs to be distilled, boil tap water if you have to)
1 tsp. cheese salt (optional, you can use plain, non iodized salt as well, I do not add the salt as I'd rather salt the meal instead)
Yes, really, that's it!
So first gather your ingredients and cooking gear. Make sure your measuring spoons, cups, and pot are very clean.
Put your milk in a large saucepan (the one you cook lots of spaghetti in.) Get out a 1/4c. measuring cup. Put 1 tsp. of citric acid in the measuring cup then fill up half way with distilled water. Mix the water and acid together until dissolved. Then finish filling up the measuring cup. Pour the citric acid mix in the milk. If you want to salt the cheese, add the salt too.
Stir the milk up really good to get it all mixed up. Start heating the milk up on medium-low (my gas stove gives 1-7 and I heat it up on 2) and stir often. You don't want any milk to stick to the bottom.
Heat the milk up to between 185 and 195 degrees. I usually go to 190. Just make sure you don't boil it. As you heat the milk, you will see the curds gradually begin to form. Don't do the happy dance yet! Keep stirring it often until you see the curds and the whey separate.
Put some butter muslin (or an old pearl-snap-type-shirt) in a colander in the sink.
Carefully ladle the curds into the colander. Once you've got it in, gather the corners of the cloth and tie them in a knot. Hang the cloth on your faucet to drip and drain for 20-30 minutes.
The time difference will be determined by if you want your cheese real dry or slightly creamy.
After that small wait, you are ready to go. Grab a chunk and chow down. If you want to keep it for a recipe, put it in a covered container in the fridge. It will stay good for a week.