Crema di ricotta Sicily
Preparation - Day ahead
Makes 2 cups
Sicilian ricotta, from the boiled whey of sheep's milk, has a tangier flavor and less homogeneous texture than the cow's milk ricotta found elsewhere.
Sheep's milk ricotta is sometimes available your local supermarket or in specialty stores. If you want to approximate the tangy flavor, gradually mix a tiny bit of ricotta salata, a white, briefly cured sheep's milk cheese available in specialty food stores, into the drained ricotta, tasting as you go.
Traditionally, ricotta cream has zuccata, or squash preserve, and tiny bits of chocolate in it. You can substitute candied citron for zuccata. You need to start the ricotta cream the day before you want to use it.
Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer; food mill, electric beater or strong arm.
LINE a strainer with a piece of rinsed cheesecloth and spoon the ricotta into it or dump the ricotta directly into a fine-mesh plastic strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl, cover; and let drain in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
PASS the ricotta through a food mill or beat it with an electric mixer to lighten it. Add the sugar and salt and continue beating until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.