I think you’ll find homemade ricotta far superior to commercial varieties. It has a creamy texture with a pleasant whole-milk flavour.
- 50 gm butter
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 60 gm natural almonds, coarsely crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Zested rind of 1 lemon
- To serve: finely grated parmesan
- 2.5 litres (10 cups) milk
- 30 ml white vinegar
- 160 gm (1 cup) fine semolina
- 150 gm (1 cup) whole-wheat flour (see note)
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- 1For ricotta, heat milk in a large saucepan over low heat until temperature reaches 90-95C (5-8 minutes). Quickly stir through vinegar, remove from heat and skim curds with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface. Transfer curds to a muslin-lined colander to drain. Refrigerate until required. Discard excess liquid. Makes about 500gm. Leftover ricotta will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- 2For whole-wheat pasta, pulse semolina and flour in a food processor to combine. With motor running, add egg, then gradually add 60ml cold water, processing until dough just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until required. Divide dough into four pieces, then, using a pasta machine with rollers at widest setting and working with one piece of dough at a time, feed dough through rollers, folding dough and reducing settings notch by notch until you reach the second-last setting and pasta is translucent and 1mm-thick. Cut into 4-5cm rag shapes with a sharp knife, lightly dust with flour and set aside on a floured tray.
- 3Cook pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water over high heat until al dente (1-2 minutes). Drain and keep warm.
- 4Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until foaming, add almonds and garlic and stir occasionally until golden (1-2 minutes). Stir through parsley, lemon rind and pasta and season to taste. Divide pasta among bowls, top with 200gm crumbled ricotta, scatter with parmesan and serve immediately.
Whole-wheat flour, available from health food stores, adds a nutty taste to pasta. You can substitute wholemeal flour.
Drink Suggestion: A crisp, nutty, crunchy white like a pinot grigio or arneis. Drink suggestion by Max Allen