This is now the fifth or 6th time I've made ricotta (I think) and I'm loving how easy it has become. I much prefer making whole milk ricotta, which I recognise isn't really traditional, but the yield is much better and I like how rich and creamy it is. Also, a lot of recipes I've found for whey ricotta involve adding cream afterwards, so I figure I'm splitting the difference in making it directly with whole milk.
I actually made ricotta twice last week, once using the recipe from Artisan Cheese Making at Home by Mary Karlin for the first time, and then again using the recipe I have been using from the kit I got. The quantities of ingredients were identical, but the difference was that Karlin's recipe called for heating the milk with the citric acid already added, whereas the kit's method is to heat the milk and then add the citric acid. I found that the recipe from the kit worked better and I will be sticking with that. The curds were bigger, allowing me to drain them in the ricotta basket rather than having to strain them through a cheese cloth, and they were also softer. The ones from Karlin's recipe had a slightly gritty feel to them they were so small. The whey from the kit method also came out thinner than the other which remained a little milky looking, meaning that more of the proteins were used in the cheese. This showed in the yield which was also better from the kit.
I used the first batch of ricotta to make Aubergine Dumplings Alla Parmigiana from Ottolenghi's Flavour and a ricotta and Spinach Tart. (Little Bit was very helpful in the tart making. It only took about four times as long as normal to make it. We have gotten him a Montessori observation tower, so he can now be at counter height, which he loves. He either plays with salt dough on his own counter while I cook or he helps me cook -and helps himself from the pot. He loves it! There is a lot less frustration now.) The second batch I used to make a Pumpkin Lasagne (recipe available tomorrow! Look out for it. It was really tasty!) Within 45 minutes of deciding to make the lasagne I had ricotta ready on the counter, which is so great.