Ricotta is a fresh cheese that we go crazy for. Its mild flavor and rich, creamy texture makes it a perfect comfort food. From pillowy gnocchi to airy coffee mousse, we’ve rounded up our favorite ricotta recipes.
You can buy ricotta at a supermarket, but it’s easy to make it at home. All you have to do is cook together milk, buttermilk, and half & half, let the mixture cool, and strain it through a cheesecloth. That’s all there is to it. You’ll never get the store-bought stuff again.
One of the simplest ways to enjoy fresh ricotta is on a crostini. Try pairing it with simple toppings like spicy soppressata, sweet broiled cherry tomatoes, or black olives, lemon zest, and mint. For something a little heartier, top your ricotta crostini with rosemary-scented cannellini beans spicy sautéed broccoli rabe.
Fresh ricotta makes for beautifully ethereal gnocchi. Check out our vibrant beet and ricotta gnocchi with wilted beet greens and tangy balsamic vinegar or earthy buckwheat gnocchi with cream, peas, and spinach. For gnocchi that are soft but still substantial, we use both ricotta and potato. Try them served in a tomato sauce with briny olives and capers.
With its tangy sweetness, ricotta is a refined dessert ingredient. It serves as the base for our easy but elegant coffee mousse, which is rich, creamy, and just a little bitter. Mixed with an egg, ricotta bakes into an amazing custard. We love topping baked ricotta with a floral cherry-orange blossom compote.
Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of ricotta recipes.
Pappardelle with Mixed Mushrooms, Ricotta, and Walnuts
A mix of sautéed mushrooms, toasted walnuts, ricotta, thyme, honey, and pappardelle, this pasta dish needs only a green salad on the side. Get the recipe for Pappardelle with Mixed Mushrooms, Ricotta, and Walnuts »
Ricotta and Honey Sandwich
A dollop of ricotta on earthy-sweet oat bread is delicious; add a drizzle of sourwood honey and it’s elevated to the exquisite. For a bit of sophisticated heat, top with a sprinkle of freshly-crushed red pepper flakes.
Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata
Like a lot of chefs, Jared Bennett of Metropole in Cincinnati is into charring vegetables to amplify their natural sweetness inside, and lend them a pleasantly bitter crust. The secret, he says, is precooking many of the vegetables and then just searing them in a smoking-hot cast-iron pan, so they don’t go to mush before getting a char. One of his signatures: this sweet potato side dish with pomegranate, lemon juice, pistachio, and ricotta salata. Get the recipe for Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata »
Calzones don’t always have to be baked—this ham and ricotta version is deep-fried.
Ricotta and Coffee Mousse
Elegant and easy to prepare, a classic mousse flavored with espresso and topped with a dusting of chocolate is a great way to end a romantic meal.
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli
Tangy tomato sauce, bolstered with mushrooms, zucchini, and squash, tops these tender ravioli filled with spinach and cheese.
Ricotta Crostini with Soppressata
Creamy, luscious cows’ or sheep’s milk ricotta pairs beautifully with soppressata and grilled, toasted, or fried slices of crusty bread for a simple and rustic crostini.