Today I tried making ricotta for the third time, and this time it went off without a hitch. So well in fact, that I might start playing with things next time and see what happens. There was no scorching, and leaving the curds to sit a bit longer before draining them, I seem to have gotten 1/4 c more cheese this time than last time, although both times the curds were left longer than the suggested 15 minutes in the instructions. The ricotta was creamy and smooth, sweet with a little salty tang. I mixed it with some spinach and pepper and turned it into home made ravioli filling, served up with and asparagus and mushroom cream sauce. It was all good, but the filling, simple and straightforward, no fancy spice work or any jazzing up, was maybe the best bit. (Although, if I do say so myself, the pasta and the sauce were good too. I used a little cornmeal in the pasta to give it some bite despite being rolled thin, and it was soft and elastic. The sauce was creamy, with just a dollop of mustard for bite).
Keep following for more of my cheese adventures!
EDIT: I had not planned to publish the recipe for these, but I have had a couple of requests, so thought I would publish it here.
For the filling:
700 g fresh ricotta
2 c fresh spinach, wilted, or 2 cubes of frozen spinach, defrosted
1/2 c whey
For the pasta:
2 c flour
1/2 c multi-grain flour
1/2 c corn meal
1/2 c whey
For the sauce:
3 asparagus spears, chopped
1 /2 tbsp olive oil
75 g mushrooms
1 - 2 tsp butter
1 - 2 tsp flour
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp orange peel
1/2 c milk
1) Roast asparagus with olive oil at 180°C until tender. Add mushrooms for the las ten minutes.
2) Mix the ricotta and spinach together, using only as much of the whey as is necessary to moisten the filling until it is smooth. Taste test and set aside.
3) In a separate bowl, put the flours and corn meal , making a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and gradually mix to a soft elastic dough. If necessary, add the whey (the wholemeal flour and the corn meal may make the dough a little dry). Work the dough until smooth, then pass it through the pasta maker on successively smaller settings. Create ravioli, placing a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of the wells and seal well.
4) Make a small amount of roux in a pan using the butter and flour. Add the milk in small amounts, then stir in the asparagus, mushrooms, sumac, orange peel and pepper.
5) Boil the ravioli in batches for a few minutes only. Be aware though that these cook much faster than dried pasta. Coat in the sauce and serve.