Homemade ricotta cheese is easy to make, and after tasting the creamy results you'll find it's worth the effort.
Credit: n/a

You might wonder why you would ever make ricotta cheese when you can simply buy a carton at the supermarket. But making fresh ricotta is remarkably easy; all you need are three everyday ingredients and about an hour. And the homemade version is simply the best you'll ever taste-silky and creamy, milky and slightly sweet, moist and never grainy.

If you've never made ricotta at home, try it. The cheese is delicious eaten by the spoonful, and once you've had your fill of it unadorned, you can turn it into an array of dishes that are as healthful as they are delectable. But be sure to make plenty. Like me, you might not be able to stop yourself from eating it right out of the bowl.

Sweet Ideas
Ricotta's creamy texture and mild flavor make it ideal for easy-to-prepare, healthful desserts and sweet snacks. Here are a few ideas:

  • Serve ricotta atop pancakes or French toast, and drizzle with maple syrup for brunch.
  • Spread ricotta on toasted slices of baguette or English muffin halves, and dust with cinnamon sugar.
  • Whisk honey into ricotta, dollop in dessert goblets, and top with berries.
  • Whip ricotta, unsweetened cocoa, and sugar until creamy, spoon into wineglasses, and garnish with toasted pine nuts and crumbled amaretti cookies.
  • Combine ricotta, grated orange rind, and honey; spread on store-bought crepes, and roll up. Chill an hour or until firm, and cut into pinwheels.