5 delicious ways to use ricotta cheese
Ricotta is a spreadable Italian cheese that can add a creamy texture to many of your favourite recipes. It’s most commonly made from cow’s milk, but you may also find sheep, cow, goat and buffalo milk varieties.
During the cheese-making process, milk is separated into solid curds and liquid whey. Most cheeses are made from the solid curds, but ricotta is traditionally made from the whey left over from other cheeses. The whey gives ricotta a high protein content comparable to Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
In Italy, ricotta is used as a filling for desserts such as cakes, cookies and cannoli. It’s also commonly used to add a creamy texture to savoury dishes such as calzones, pizza and lasagna. However, you don’t need to fly to the Mediterranean to make use of this delicious cheese. Here are five ways you can incorporate ricotta into your recipes at home.
In North America, cheesecake is often made with a cream cheese filling. However, ricotta cheese has been used in cakes for generations in Italy. Using ricotta instead as a substitute for cream cheese gives your cake a lighter texture and more protein. Here’s a simple recipe from Martha Stewart you can easily make in 15 minutes.
Ricotta makes a great base for a high-protein pasta sauce when mixed with lemon zest and garlic. You can also combine it with tomato sauce or pesto to increase the protein content. You can make this simple pasta sauce featured in the New York Times from ricotta and parmesan.
Enjoy with fruit and honey
Ricotta’s nutritional information is similar to full-fat Greek yogurt. You can try mixing half a cup of ricotta cheese with a tablespoon of honey, fruit and granola to make a high-protein parfait.
Adding a ricotta layer to your lasagna gives it a creamy layer that goes perfectly with crunchy parmesan on top. Ricotta is traditionally used in lasagna in several regions of Italy including Naples. Try this New York Times recipe for spinach and roasted zucchini lasagna.
When you think of cheese, gelato probably isn’t the first recipe you think about. However, you can easily make a delicious gelato at home by mixing ricotta with egg yolks and sugar. Here’s a recipe from Martha Stewart that only requires six basic ingredients.