Ricotta cheese on white plate with blue rim next to fork
Food - Drink
What Makes Ricotta Salata Different From Regular Ricotta?
Although ricotta and ricotta salata are both white cheeses with very similar names and ingredients, they are both made and used in completely different ways.
Ricotta is a fresh cheese made from the curds left behind in the liquid whey that is used when other cheeses are being made. Since it isn’t aged, ricotta is full of moisture.
Ricotta salata comes primarily from Sicily and is made with sheep’s milk. It is made by salting and pressing the moisture out of fresh ricotta and aging it for at least two months.
Ricotta salata is a firm cheese reminiscent of Greek feta or Mexican cotija that is salty, dry, and crumbly in texture. The cheese doesn’t melt well, but it works great as a garnish.
While fresh ricotta is quite mild and can be flavored in many different ways, ricotta salata has a more prominent nutty flavor and a mild tang.
Ricotta’s mild flavor and creamy texture make it useful for both savory and sweet dishes. It can be spread on toast, put on pizza, mixed into baked goods, and used as a filling.
Ricotta salata isn’t as versatile as ricotta, but it makes a great replacement for feta or other similar cheeses. It also works as a pasta topping and an inclusion in cheese boards.