Because on Friday, we do pizza…
Making ricotta is easy. Stupid easy. Boil some cream, milk, and salt. Add lemon juice, and let it do its magic. THAT’S IT. Ina Garten told me so. And about a million others that have discovered the simplicity.
See? Stupid easy.
You ever wondered what the curds and the whey are that Little Miss Muffet is eating with spiders? First of all, maybe you should get away from the spiders, girlfriend. Curds? The ricotta. Whey? See below. Protein-rich leftover liquid that can be used in making bread, as a soup base, whatevs.
It’s summer, so roast a bunch of veggies (zucchini and squash ribbons, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, green onion) and throw them on top of the crisp and chewy crust and creamy ricotta. Lots of parmesan for good measure. Because, well, parmesan. Then top with fresh basil.
- 3 c whole milk
- 1 c heavy cream
- 1 t salt
- 3 T lemon juice
- 2-3 c flour
- 1 c warm water or warmed whey from ricotta!
- 1 T granulated sugar
- 1 t salt
- 1 T canola oil
- 1 T yeast
- olive oil
- broccoli florets
- red onion
- crushed garlic
- red pepper flakes
- fresh mozzarella
- freshly-cracked pepper
- basil leaves cut into strips
Prepare ricotta by mixing milk, cream, and salt in heavy saucepan over medium heat with a whisk, stirring frequently. Slowly bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Let rest 15 minutes. Line a large fine-mesh strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and place strainer over a large bowl. Once it has rested, pour mixture into the strainer and let strain at least 1 hour. Curds will remain and whey will drain into the bowl. You can save the whey for other uses such as broth or in bread. Set ricotta aside.
For pizza dough, place 1 1/2 c of the flour and all remaining ingredients in mixer. Begin to mix. Add additional flour 1/2 c at a time until dough is pulling away from the sides and has formed a ball. Don't add too much flour. Knead additional 4-5 minutes. It will be tacky. Cover with a towel and let sit while you prepare toppings
Chop the veggies you plan to use. To roast broccoli, zucchini, squash, and red onion, coat with olive oil and place on foil-lined baking sheet in oven at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until edges begin to crisp. Keep oven on at 425.
Roll pizza dough out into one large round or two thin-crust rounds. Lay on parchment paper on baking sheet or pizza stone. Prick several times with a fork and bake crust 5 minutes. Remove from oven.
Spread ricotta over crust, then layer your roasted veggies, tomatoes, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh mozzarella, and freshly-cracked black pepper. Bake additional 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and veggies have begun to char. Remove from oven and top with basil leaves.