It’s used in lasagna and other pasta dishes but did you ever think you could make ricotta cheese from scratch? That’s what’s on the menu tonight as we grab a Bite with Belkys.

The Chef: Yukie Horite
The Restaurant: Mama Mia Italian Ristorante in Hollywood
The Dish: Homemade Ricotta Cheese

1 cheese cloth
1 gallon fresh whole milk
1 tsp. salt
pinch of white pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup heavy cream (or- you can leave out the heavy cream if you’d like a lower-fat cheese)

Method of Preparation:
– Start by pouring whole milk into a hot pot. Add salt, white pepper and stir. Bring it to a boil.

– When the milk bubbles and starts to rise up, add white vinegar. Let the milk boil for several seconds then turn it off and let it sit for a few minutes while it curdles and separates.

– Pour it through a cheese cloth and strainer to get the liquid out. It usually takes several minutes.

– When the liquid has strained, put the ricotta into a bowl. Add olive oil and blend. Let it chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

– While that’s in the fridge, Chef Yukie makes a balsamic reduction. In a pot, add balsamic vinegar and sugar and blend. Bring to a boil then simmer about 20 minutes until it reduces. When it has the consistency of syrup, turn it off and set it aside.

To Plate:
– When the Ricotta is chilled, pour a little olive oil in a serving bowl and scoop the ricotta on top. Add a drizzle of the balsamic reduction over the top, some crushed red pepper flakes, and top it with fresh basil and a little more olive oil. Serve the fresh Ricotta Cheese with Garlic Bread.

Serving suggestion: Chianti

Serves: 6

Mama Mia Italian Ristorante
1818 S. Young Circle
Hollywood, FL 33020

Show a copy of the recipe and get $10 off your bill with a $50 purchase now through May 2. And for the latest and greatest on all things culinary, check out my Bite Blog.

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