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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ravioli with homemade ricotta

Last week I made a gentlewoman's agreement with another reader of Tipsy Baker's blog that I would make filled pasta sometime before this Saturday, so pictured above is the ravioli we made yesterday. It was delicious, but very rustic in appearance, if you dig me. I am not cut out for meticulous shaping of filled pastas, so we had some pretty messy looking raviolis. I am proud of myself for finally making filled pasta, though. It's a ton of busy work, for even something as simple as ravioli. I can't imagine doing tortellini. Italians are crazy! I know I'll be making this again, however, because outside of a restaurant it's the only way to get decent ravioli. Everyone but the Hulk was double-fisting it into their gaping maws. And it doesn't take too much longer than regular pasta, unless you're fastidious about your shapes, which: not.

I sort of melded Ricki Carroll's and Bittman's recipe (as interpreted by the Tipsy Baker) for ricotta, and it was better than any of that slop you can buy, unless you do your grocery shopping at Caputo's or something, in which case you are probably either a parasitic CEO or a trust fund baby, so your problems are your own. It is easy, easy, and doesn't require anything you don't already have on hand--you can just use lemon juice to make the buttermilk, or use it straight as citric acid, depending on which recipe you use. Here is the recipe I used:

2 C buttermilk (2 T of lemon juice added to milk)
1 gallon whole milk
lemon juice (somewhere around 1/4 C)
salt

Add the buttermilk to the whole milk, heat it on medium-high, stirring constantly, and bring it up to between 185 and 195 degrees. Don't let it boil. Have a baby whose diaper badly needs changing wander morosely into the kitchen and cling to your pant leg, sobbing. Become irritated that the curds haven't separated yet. Dump about 1/4 C more lemon juice in the milk. Have the baby from earlier grab the cat's food bowl and upend it. Shout incoherently, then run and put the baby in her crib, hoping that the milk won't burn to the bottom of the pan while you're gone. Stir a little more, while the curds FINALLY separate, then decide you're sick of this crap and take it off the heat, milky whey be damned. Drain the curds in a pillowcase inside a colander, because you're still waiting for the butter muslin you ordered last week from cheesemaking.com.

Now you have ricotta, and it actually tastes great. Some of the above steps may be omitted to streamline the process.

6 comments:

tipsybaker said...

Hurray!
By coincidence, I am making unstuffed spinach pasta tonight inspired by you.

Sarah said...

You're amazing. That ravioli sounds so yummy, and I may even dare try my hand at the ricotta...someday...

tipsybaker said...

why do you think the cheese took so long to curd?

Layne said...

That's what I was wondering, too. It didn't curdle until about 200*--I wondered if maybe the raw milk had something to do with it.

tipsybaker said...

Hmm. So you compensated for the ratio of buttermilk and milk by adding extra lemon juice. Maybe it is the raw milk?? But I can't imagine. . .

Bamamoma said...

I may just have to try this. I loves me some ricotta and homemade...? well.