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I seem to have been away from this space slightly longer than I anticipated. It was only a week – although it feels much longer than that – but I have a good excuse. You see, we went to Vegas for a few days and everyone knows what happens in Vegas…

Actually, to be honest, nothing much happened in Vegas except I caught a stinking cold and have spent most of the time since we returned on Friday feeling sorry for myself.

I had planned to blog while we were away but every time I opened up my laptop, perched at the window of our hotel room overlooking the Strip, I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything.

It felt so incongruous to write about something so real as homemade ricotta in a place so decidedly unreal as Las Vegas.  I don’t know if I enjoyed it as a city. It is a place where I felt completely disconnected from reality.

I suppose that quality is why quite so many people love Las Vegas. It’s a world where it can always be night or always be day if you want. You can go shopping at midnight or order a drink in a bar at 9 in the morning and nobody blinks an eye. It’s a world still filled with the haze of cigarette smoke and where canned pop music is constantly playing in the background.

Maybe I wasn’t that enamoured by Vegas because I really quite like my life. I don’t feel the need to escape anything and being disconnected from my routines and familiar surroundings is not something that I welcome.

But it was an experience. And life is all about experiences.

I’ve been meaning to make ricotta at home for a while especially after Emma made it. Good ricotta is a very good thing indeed; bad ricotta is enough to put you off for life. When you make ricotta at home, it’s good enough to eat simply spread on toast with a scattering of basil or mint and a drizzle of olive oil.

Homemade ricotta

Yield: 150g (about 1 cup) of ricotta


  • 1 litre (4 cups)whole milk
  • 250ml (1 cup)buttermilk
  • A pinch of salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat the milk, buttermilk and salt in a large saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan. Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth (or, if you’re really lazy, several layers of j-cloth).
  2. Once the curds start to come to the surface (ie you get white blobby bits), stop stirring and leave the mixture to reach a temperature of 80C/175F at which point the curds (the blobby bits) and the whey (the mixture left behind) will have separated.
  3. Ladle the curds into the colander, gather the sides of the cheesecloth and allow to drain for 10-15 minutes depending on how thick you want your ricotta (the longer you leave it, the drier it will be).
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge if you’re not going to use it immediately.
22 Responses to "homemade ricotta"
  1. Megan Pence says:

    Ohhh how I love homemade ricotta!

    Vegas – you’re right. It’s an experience. And it’s somewhere you were right to visit. But once is enough for me as well. I had an insane urge to wash me feet every time I went back to my hotel, too. That is a town you can not wear sandals and flip flops in without turning your feet black. Eww. And I’m pretty sure I had a momentary case of emphysema after subjecting myself to all the smoke in the casinos. Yikes!!

    Are you still in the states? You’re not coming up to the Seattle area are you? *crosses fingers!*

  2. Erin says:

    Vegas has never sounded like my kind of city. However, at Christmastime we are traveling out there to the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas, so I think we’ll end up in Vegas for a least a couple of hours. But it is definitely a place I’ll be glad to say I’ve seen.

  3. I feel the same about Vegas – it’s totally surreal. Not really my type of city, but it’s fun once every 5-10 years or so. =) this homemade ricotta, on the other hand, is TOTALLY my style. YUM!

  4. Angharad says:

    Ahh I felt the very same way about Vegas when I visited – gulp – 8 years ago! It’s just so fake feeling – I hated that about it. Nothing seemed real (of course, I’m talking mainly about the strip and not the rest of the city) and I found that very disconcerting. Also, the lack of light and clocks (and prevalence of scary carpet) in the casinos put me off for life :)

  5. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    this has been on my list to make for a while too. Vegas is so bizarre, I didn’t drink whilst I was there but still spent the entire time in a daze! I think I still have my mardi gras beads from old vegas in a box somewhere! hope you’re feeling better now

  6. Denise @ TLT says:

    So you were in Vegas. And prince Harry was there too;) No, joking of course: sorry to hear about your cold.

    This ricotta looks delicious, I should definitely try making it myself!

  7. Yes, life is definitely all about experiences. And cheese ;)

  8. How cool is this. I didn’t know you could make homemade ricotta. Yum!

  9. It seems so simple! Why didn’t I make it Before?

  10. london bakes says:

    @Megan – Yup, I actually had to go to buy some non flip-flop shoes while I was there because it was so disgusting! As for Seattle, I was really hoping we would get a chance but I think the most north we’re going to get is San Fran :( Next year I hope!

    @Erin – It’s definitely an experience and probably worth having once in your life!

    @Amy – I can see how it would be fun if you were with a group of friends as well but yeah, definitely in small doses!

    @Angharad – Oh yeah, the light thing is really weird. I would wake up in the night and have no concept of what time it was at all and feel completely disorientated. And then some of the hotels make it seem like it’s evening all day long. It’s so bizarre.

    @Jenny – I didn’t drunk much either but I know what you mean, it’s completely surreal isn’t it?

    @Denise – Even funnier, Harry was pictured the next around the corner from where we are staying in LA! He’s stalking us ;)

    @Bianca – An excellent philosophy ;)

    @Russell – It’s brilliant and so easy too!

    @Daniela – That’s what I thought!

  11. I just love homemade ricotta! And Vegas is always an experience. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, always weird. I like it but it’s not my first choice for a vacation. I enjoy a night layover when possible :)

  12. Ugh, I want to go back to Vegas so bad. The last time I went, I was 20 and was with family so i haven’t really lived it up there. I wasn’t even old enough to gamble or party. I saw that you were at the Bellagio – gorgeous hotel. We stayed there when we were there :) I loved it. This ricotta is SO simple! I can’t believe I’ve never made it before!

  13. We went to Bistro Bruno Loubet this weekend and my starter included the most incredible creamy organic ricotta with raw courgette & fennel salad. I was planning to recreate it at home but now you’ve upped the stakes – I’m going to have to make the ricotta part too now!

  14. Rachel Cooks says:

    Love this post. I never saw the draw of Vegas really either. Ricotta looks amazing–definitely something I’ve been wanting to try.

    Hope you’re feeling better!!

  15. Rachel Cooks says:

    Love this post. I never saw the draw of Vegas really either. Ricotta looks amazing–definitely something I’ve been wanting to try.

    Hope you’re feeling better!!

  16. OMG, I love reeeeco!-ta!

    And Vegas scares me. :)

  17. I’m not much of a vegas person either. It’s too loud, crazy, dark, and way too many drunk people.

    Man, I’m starting to sound like an old lady!

    As for this homemade ricotta, it looks so incredibly fluffy! I really need to try this.

  18. I’ve been meaning to make homemade ricotta for months! Thanks for the detailed instructions and recipe–definitely going to be bookmarking this.

    Love your post and thoughts of your trip to Vegas. I’ve been there only once but had a similar feeling. It’s a strange city–but I do hear they have incredible restaurants, so that is really the only thing that makes me want to go back again some day. Other than that, I’ll leave it :)

  19. bakingbeardy says:

    I haven’t been to Vegas since I was a kid! Do you think this would work ok for making homemade gnocchi?

  20. joshuafagans says:

    Glad I found your blog. I have yet to try making ricotta but this may just be enough to convince me to try. Sorry you didn’t like Vegas much though I can’t say it’s ever done much for me either.

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