Ricotta is an Italian fresh cheese made from sheep, cow, goat or buffalo's milk whey left over from the production of cheese. Since the casein is filtered away from whey during the cheese-making process, Ricotta is suitable for persons with casein intolerance. Being low in fat and high in protein, Ricotta is a dieter’s dream cheese.
Traditional Italian fresh ricotta is smoother than cottage cheese and tastes mildly sweet. Good Ricotta is firm, not solid and consists of a mass of fine, moist, delicate grains, neither salted nor ripened. The light, delicate consistency and clean flavours make it a perfect accompaniment to a variety of recipes and dishes.
Ricotta is a popular ingredient in many Italian dishes like lasagna, manicotti, cassata, cheesecake, calzone, pizza, and ravioli and dips. It is also suitable as a sauce thickener. Fresh Ricotta pairs great with Sauvignon Blanc.
There are three distinct varieties of ricotta: ricotta salata moliterna (ewe's milk whey), ricotta piemontese (cow's milk whey + 10% milk) and ricotta romana (a byproduct of Romano cheese production).