I have posted about the homemade ricotta cheese on facebook before but this needs a whole separate blog post! This cheese from Smitten Kitchen was so easy to make (who would have thought making cheese would be easy?) and so fresh and unprocessed. Smitten Kitchen Homemade ricotta here; additional notes: I do not own a candy thermometer so I used a meat thermometer and it worked just as fine. I inserted it into the mixture a few times and now I have a good idea of when the mixture is just about at ideal temperature. 1 tablespoon of lemon juice is about 1 fresh lemon squeezed. Buy an extra lemon just in case the lemons are small.
I asked my cousin Jen to show me how to make ricotta cheese gnocchi. There are no exact measurements so you just have to play around with it a few times. If you do homemade ricotta, the cheese is less firm so you might need to coat it in extra flour. Chop about half this bunch of parsley (at the top). Add 1 cup of ricotta cheese to the bowl and mix with your hands. Start adding in unbleached flour (sorry whole wheat fans I am not even going to attempt that). I would start with 1 cup and see where you go from there. You don't want it too dry. Roll the mixture into a few long ropes and cut into small pieces about 1.5 in. You may need to dust some flour on top of the pieces to protect it from the boiling water. Drop them in boiling water until they float. Check/taste them. Serve with marinara sauce.
Another twist on ricotta cheese. Use with crackers/bread and a roasted strawberry mixture. I made this for our Memorial Day get together.
A final word on this ricotta cheese. It is so unlike store bought. And it tastes better than cream cheese. So you'll find lots of uses for it!