When Life Gives You…

…a beautiful jar of raw cow milk, the options are limitless!

Last weekend, I drove down to Kookoolan Farms to pick up my pig. While I was waiting at the farm, I noticed a cooler full of fresh milk from that morning, in big mason jars. I couldn’t resist.

I brought a jar home and plowed through my recipes. In the end, I opted for ricotta dumplings. One of my very favorite things for Spring.

To make the gnudis (italian for naked, as in uncased pasta filling) I needed to start with fresh Ricotta, making it with my beautiful cream-topped jar of cow milk.

Start with a good solid pot and add 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to each half gallon of milk. Add a thermometer and heat around medium high until the temp reaches 185-190 without boiling.

When the curds separate from the whey, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes undisturbed.

Carefully ladle out the curds and place in a cheesecloth-lined colander. I used a clean white cotton pillowcase. gather up the cheesecloth/pillowcase, tie and hang for a couple of hours to drain additional whey.

You can drink the whey, which is really good for you, or you can feed it to the chickens…they LOVE it.

To your beautiful 1 cup of fresh ricotta,

add 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk

fresh grated nutmeg

1 cup of parmesan

beat fiercely with a whisk until the mixture is smooth and light.

fold in 1/2 cup of flour

cover your hands in flour and roll mixture into 1 inch ricotta dumplings.

bring a pot of water to a boil. drop dumplings into water until dumplings rise, about 2 minutes.

Traditionally these beauties are perfect with a little browned butter and crispy sage. I decided to use the beautiful spring broccoli, brussel-sprouts and asparagus.

I just sautéed everything up with a bit of bacon and thyme, and topped the whole thing with grated parmesan and brown butter.