1. Line large sieve with double layer of 100-percent cotton cheesecloth, letting excess hang over side; place over medium bowl. Spoon in ricotta. Cover and allow to drain in the refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight.
2. Heat oven to 400 degree F. Discard liquid in bowl. Wipe out bowl. Return ricotta to bowl. Stir in chopped sage, salt and pepper. Line a 1-1/2-quart ovenproof bowl or souffle dish with the cheesecloth. Spoon ricotta into bowl, letting cheesecloth overhang edge of bowl. Bake 1 hour or until browned on top (ricotta will be jiggly in center). Cool cheese in bowl on wire rack 15 minutes. Lift ricotta, still in cheesecloth, from dish and drain again in sieve for 30 minutes. Wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. To serve, discard cheesecloth. Transfer ricotta to serving plate. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.Make Fried Sage Leaves::
3. Heat oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and cook just until leaves darken, about 20 seconds. Pour oil and sage leaves on top of ricotta. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices. Makes 8 to 10 servings.