MAKE YOUR OWN RICOTTA!
I swear to all things holy, it really is that easy. I didn't believe it myself, but thought, "Hey, I'm making pizza tonight anyway, let's give it a shot".
Step 1: Heat milk
I used a quart of whole milk and 1/2 C of light cream. I realize this will make it fatty, but I wanted it to work the first time around and it seems that every time I try to experiment by making things lower in fat they don't turn out. Perhaps this is why I still believe that I'm incapable of baking desserts....
Heat the milk, cream, and salt (1/4 tsp or so) in a pot over med-high heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches a simmer. Now, listen up everyone. A simmer is NOT a boil. Simmer means small bubbles barely coming to the surface. If you let this come to a rolling boil prepare yourself for scorched milk and possibly a new sauce pot.
Step 2: Add acid
Once the simmer stage is reached, add 1 1/2 or 2 tbsps of fresh lemon juice (in the blue bowl on the right). Stir quickly just to mix, turn down the heat to maintain a light simmer, then sit back and watch the curds form. After a minute or so, stir again. Let it simmer for a couple minutes then stir again. After 5 minutes or fewer, all the curds will have separated from the whey.
Line a colander with some cheese cloth, and dump in your curds/whey mixture. Let it drain in the sink for about an hour, turning and/or squeezing at the half-way point.
Easy as that. Boom! Best ricotta I've ever had. Next I will try this with goat's milk or maybe a different type of acid just to see how the flavors work out.
Oh, and about that "pizza for dinner" thing.... I'll post it tomorrow I promise.