I learned to make homemade ricotta from a friend’s Sicilian grandma, who would layer the tender curds in a bowl, warm, with a lace of honey and black pepper for spooning onto thick-cut toast. As it turns out, ricotta is only a handful of inputs: whole-fat milk, salt, heat, acid and time. After that: cheesecloth and a saucepan.

This recipe also works well swapping goat or sheep’s milk for cow’s milk (just keep it full fat). I like champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar here, since their flavor is subtle; feel free to use lemon juice if you don’t mind some citrusy background notes. If you’d like to replace 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of heavy cream, I’m on your side.

Makes 2 cups.