This, strictly speaking, is not really a cheese but a sort of by-product of cheesemaking. It is made from the drained whey and then cooked; in Italian, the word ricotta means re-cooked.
It has a mild, fresh lactic flavour and contains only 14 per cent fat. It is actually delicious just by itself served with summer fruits, and I have eaten it freshly made in Apulia, Italy, sprinkled with coarse salt, pepper and olive oil, with really good bread.
A lovely light terrine that's just perfect with a crisp salad and good bread. What's more, you can easily increase the quantities and make this for a buffet or party.
This brilliant moussaka will give your guests the impression that you've been cooking for hours, when in fact - thanks to a raft of ready-made ingredients - all you've done is a quick assembly job.
Although it may not be the obvious choice at the end of a rich meal, the light and fluffy texture of this cheesecake, and its hit of lemon makes it ideal. The confit needs to be made a day in advance.
It may look as if this Italian classic took hours to make, but in fact you just assemble a few ingredients in a loaf tin and there you have it - a lovely dessert that will earn you plenty of compliments.
This unusual Italian cake freezes really well and makes a nice change from the more obvious teatime offerings: polenta gives the cake a grainy texture while the ricotta and amaretto to add moisture and an alcoholic kick!