Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from the whey resulting from the production of mozzarella, provolone and other cheeses. The name means ‘re-cooked’, because the whey is processed for a second time when it is used to make the ricotta.
Ricotta is a good source of calcium. This is because most of the calcium in milk is contained in the watery whey (‘buttermilk’) part, rather than the creamy ‘butterfat’ component.
Ricotta can be preserved through salting, baking or smoking. For the Amarone-poached figs recipe it is essential to use fresh ricotta, which should be soft, bright white and mild in flavour. It goes off easily so eat within a week of purchasing.
You can make ricotta yourself using nothing but whole milk, white distilled vinegar and salt…