I recently saw an article on the internet extolling how easy it is to make ricotta at home, and how tasty it is, including as a pizza topping. This inspired me to make ricotta and to use it in a pizza, and all turned out as promised. Fresh home-made ricotta has a very clean, intensely milky taste. It will take a total of about 30 minutes to make ricotta, most of which will be unattended time while it drains to a useable consistency. I used my ricotta in a Tarte Flambee v2 which turned out very well.
Here is how I made ricotta, largely following instructions in Serious Eats. A quart of milk will make about a cup of ricotta.
1 quart whole milk (not ultrapasteurized)
¼ cup white vinegar
½ tsp. salt
Combine the milk, vinegar, and salt in an ovenproof bowl. I used a 2 quart pyrex measuring cup. Heat the milk in a microwave until it is in the 165 to 185 degree range, which will be around 5 minutes. The right temperature will be visible if there are bubbles on the edge of the surface of the milk, but to confirm I used a thermometer which showed that the temperature was ~185 degrees. Stir gently to see if the curds and whey have separated. If not nuke the bowl a little longer until the curds and whey do separate. You will know that this is right when the whey looks translucent and not milky. The curds will be very small, like grains.
Initially I tried to drain the ricotta in a yogurt strainer as shown below, but it soon became evident that this was going to take a very long time to get the ricotta dry enough to use.
I then took cheesecloth, folded it into a square 4 layers thick, put it into a large bowl, and then poured the curds and whey onto the cheese cloth, pulled the ends together, closed them with a rubber band, and suspended it from a cabinet knob over a bowl to catch the whey as it drained.
In 15-20 minutes, it was dry enough for use in a pizza.