Ricotta salata, a dairy product to discover

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It is tastier than the classic ricotta, it is perfect grated on a plate of pasta or on a pan of vegetables and can be eaten without guilt because it is less caloric than many other cheeses

It’s a ricotta, but it doesn’t have the classic soft texture. AND tough and it is used grated to give more flavor to different dishes typical of the southern regions. Ricotta salata has the classic conical shape and is not a cheese, but a dairy product, produced from the whey which is a residue from the processing of a sheep or cow cheese, which it is heated again to 85-90 ° (hence the name).

A “ricotto” dairy product

The albumins, the whey proteins, when they reach 90 °, denature and, separating, come to the surface, along with the fat that did not end up in the cheese. At this point they are collected and stored in small containers and give rise to the ricotta, which is left to cool and then sprinkled with coarse salt. The ricotta thus treated remains to rest up to 30 days and in this way its paste hardens. Due to the salt, which accelerates a dehydration process, ricotta loses up to 50% of the liquids it contained.

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With sheep’s milk

Unlike many other products, ricotta salata is mainly prepared withsheep’s milk. Sheep milk is much fatter than bovine milk, but it is rich in proteins: it contains almost twice as much as cow’s milk. Sheep’s milk proteins have a high biological-nutritional value and are rich in antioxidants, capable of inhibiting the action of free radicals, responsible for many diseases and cellular aging.

Salted ricotta in the kitchen

Mainly used to dress the dishes of the tradition in the southern regions, ricotta salata is actually very versatile and goes perfectly with pasta dishes and vegetables. The recipe in which this dairy product finds the ideal combination is the pasta alla norma, a cult of Sicilian cuisine, made with fried aubergines and tomatoes. But it is capable of highlighting a simple dish of spaghetti with tomato sauce and basil, as well as to a savory pie with zucchini and bacon. The salted ricotta enhances the flavor of cannelloni and baked pasta if grated abundantly, and is perfect on any vegetable, sautéed or baked au gratin.

Find out in the tutorial some suggestions for bringing salted ricotta to the table!

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