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Ricotta Salata (what to do with...)

andytee Jan 31, 2008 08:56 PM

I bought some ricotta salata (the relatively dry, slice-able ricotta, not the stuff used in lasagna) for a pizza idea I tried tonight - pizza spread with pesto and topped with cubes of butternut squash and thickly grated ricotta salata. It turned out just ok, the ricotta dried out too much in the oven and mostly added a salty crunch. If i did it again, I would grate the ricotta on after the pizza cooks, but that is another story.

For now, I've got a good chunk of the ricotta salata left over, any good ideas what to do with it?

  1. tacostacoseverywhere Feb 1, 2008 02:24 AM

    It's a fantastic salad cheese. I like a winter greens salad with walnuts or pecans, some sort of sweet-ish vinaigrette (think citrus and honey), and some roasted beets... shave the ricotta salata over the top and toss. also a great finisher for pasta, although as you discovered, not really a melting cheese, more of a final touch as it goes to the table. i like to use it in place of parm/pecorino when i'm not worried about melting, or if i want a touch more texture to whatever dish i'm finishing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tacostacoseverywhere
      MMRuth Feb 1, 2008 03:33 AM

      I agree - I also like to grate it on salads.

    2. Gin and It Feb 1, 2008 04:08 AM

      Grated ricotta salata, chopped parsley, diced roasted red peppers, chopped walnuts, and chopped olives mixed with pasta!

      1. f
        Felixnot Feb 1, 2008 05:40 AM

        I've never seen ricotta salata that you can grate. It's usually fresh, and you use it as you would a feta cheese. It slices very neatly for salad or eating with melon and prosciutto.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Felixnot
          TongoRad Feb 1, 2008 06:00 AM

          When it is grated it is usually done on a box grater, large holes. Lately I've seen (and had) it done this way in restaurants, usually on pasta. Personally I prefer it by itself, or as you have suggested as part of an antipasti platter, sliced or broken up. Like LulusMom said below, it is so mild that it can get lost in a more flavorful dish.

          1. re: Felixnot
            eLizard Feb 4, 2008 04:54 PM

            I grew up on ricotta salata grated in a mouli grater. on pasta couldn't get enough. it was a special treat when we visited my grandparents in new york. no ricotta salad in cleveland in 80's early 90's.... at least not readily available.

          2. LulusMom Feb 1, 2008 05:40 AM

            I made a potato stew from epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... in which I used ricotta salata. To be honest, I loved the stew but found the cheese a little superflous, but if you're looking for a way to get rid of it, this might be a nice, wintery way to go.

            1. c
              cheesemonger Feb 1, 2008 06:08 AM

              Another salady thought: Use it like you would fresh mozz in a caprese- slices of tomato, slices of ricotta salata, drizzled with balsamic vinagrette, sprinkled with fresh basil.

              1. mimilulu Feb 1, 2008 07:41 AM

                One of my faves (pre-lowcarb): Cook some orichiette pasta. Splash a good amount of olive oil in the bottom of your pasta bowl. Press some fresh garlic into it. Set aside a little pasta cooking water before you drain the cooked pasta. Add cooked pasta to the oil, grate a whole bunch of ricotta salata over, season to taste w/ salt & pepper. Add a little pasta water if it needs it. Top w/ chopped flat leaf parsley and toss.

                I use a fine hole (1/8 inch?) hand held grater (I've had it since before microplanes came out) and it grates up the ricotta salata just fine.

                1. b
                  burbankfoodie Feb 1, 2008 12:44 PM

                  Hi... best salad and so healthy (doesn't sound that great but trust me, try it and you'll like it - I'm not a spinach/kale/chard fan but I this is one of my favorite "salads" now).

                  Lacinato Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad

                  1. vvvindaloo Feb 2, 2008 09:33 PM

                    The most famous dish I can think of that includes ricotta salata is the Sicilian Pasta alla Norma, named after the native composer, Puccini's, opera. Rigatoni or other medium-sized pasta (maltagliati, if you like fresh) with a tomato-eggplant sauce. Sautee either thin slices or bite-size cubes of eggplant (depending on the size/type of eggplant) in olive oil until just slightly browned and add them to a simple homemade tomato sauce made with olive oil, fresh garlic and basil. Combine the sauce with the pasta and grate the cheese over it. It's one of my favorites.

                    1. andytee Feb 3, 2008 03:50 PM

                      thaqnks guys!

                      so, salads and pastas, huh? so far i used some with a salad or arugula and baked beets, and will probably try that lacinato kale thing next. thanks for the ideas, keep them coming if you have more.

                      1. p
                        Produce Addict Feb 4, 2008 09:49 AM

                        It's great in a spinach frittata.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Produce Addict
                          Mel.D Feb 4, 2008 10:47 AM

                          My family uses it in a pasta dish which includes: squash (preferably the long Sicilian summer squash ), ground beef, onion, tomato and basil. Combine all the ingredient add salt and pepper. Server hot with lots of grated ricotta salata on top.

                          1. re: Mel.D
                            vvvindaloo Feb 4, 2008 02:39 PM

                            That sounds terrific, Mel B., and I'll be keeping that recipe in mind... :)

                        2. Homero Feb 4, 2008 11:06 AM

                          A very simple recipe I was given for ricotta salata was a simple tortellini (meat or cheese) with edamame beans tossed in a simple sauce of melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and black pepper with grated ricotta salata on top. Since the cheese is pretty salty, just a little salt in the pasta water was all it needed. Boil the edamame beans in the pasta water. Very simple and pretty tasty.

                          1. c
                            cackalackie Feb 4, 2008 12:54 PM

                            I've cut it into cubes and skewered it, along with a watermelon cube and mint leaf. It's a cute little appetiser.

                            1. d
                              DaveinNorthridge Aug 9, 2008 03:49 PM

                              Where did you find it? I've been up to my eyes in course prep but I'm watching Lidia's Italy (the episode on Friuli) and I'd like to make the long gnocchi soon.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DaveinNorthridge
                                MMRuth Aug 9, 2008 03:50 PM

                                You might want to post on your regional board. In NYC, it's available at most cheese stores and Italian markets.

                              2. p
                                pineapple sage Aug 16, 2009 05:26 PM

                                Now that we are at the height of tomato season I use it instead of mozzarella in tomato salads.

                                1. cassoulady Aug 16, 2009 06:19 PM

                                  Babbo serves a roasted beet "tartare" with ricotta salata that I have recreated many times.

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