Rose's September Shop Watch: Ricotta Salata
Natoora sold through Ocado
A great alternative to Parmesan
I do find it exciting that more and more unusual ingredients become available to us here in the UK. My latest discovery is this ricotta salata which Natoora sell via the Ocado website. If you have ever been to Sicily you will have seen it everywhere, as it is used instead of Parmesan on pasta. I was especially happy to see it pop up by chance on the website, since I was planning to cook a Sicilian meal for my nephew and his fiancée who are thinking of going there for their honeymoon. A selection of antipasti was to be followed by spaghetti alla Norma (tomatoes and aubergines) and a pasta with pesto Trapanese. What better than to have the ricotta salata grated over to be truly authentic?
We are very used to the soft fresh ricotta usually sold in tubs, but this is a hard, salty, white cheese, which can be sliced, grated or crumbled. It does have a salty and even slightly nutty flavour. The word “ricotta” means re-cooked, and “salata” means salted. It can be made from sheep’s or cow’s milk, (this one is cow’s) which is drained, pressed, salted and aged. I find that it is delicious shaved or crumbled over salads – try shavings with char-grilled asparagus; or an orange, fennel and red onion salad; or just to lift a simple tomato, red onion and mint salad. It is also good paired with Parma ham or bresaola. But do use it on your Sicilian pasta dishes.
Sicily brought to your table
Availability and price as at 31st August 2018