There is nothing like fresh, fluffy, light Ricotta cheese--an ingredient with endless culinary possibilities. Why trek all the way to Bristol Farms to get a fresh batch when you can make your own at home like an Italian mama. This recipe by food writer and chef, David Lebovitz is simple and seemingly foolproof. For a change, try substituting cows milk for goats milk.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese:

Always use whole milk yogurt, but if you do try it with low-fat yogurt, beware. This recipe can easily be halved or doubled.

2 quarts whole milk
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
Optional: 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

1. In a large pot, bring the milk, yogurt, heavy cream (if using), vinegar, and salt to a boil. Very gently boil for one to two minutes, until the milk is curdled.

2. Meanwhile, line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and set it over a deep bowl.

3. Pour the milk mixture into the strainer and let drain for 15 minutes. Gather the cheesecloth around the curds and squeeze gently to extract any excess liquid.

Storage: Homemade ricotta is best served slightly warm, although it can be refrigerated for up to three days, if desired. Makes 2 cups.

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