Ricotta Romana is a PDO product – Protected Designation of Origin – derived from the processing of whole sheep milk. As the word “ricotta” suggests (in Italian it means “cooked again”), in fact, this type of dairy product is obtained from the second heating of whey, previously heated for the production of cheeses.
It seems that in ancient Rome – at least for a period – the use of sheep’s milk was limited to religious and sacral use only and that the Ricotta Romana was part of these taboo foods. Some scholars argue that the processing of this ricotta has spread through St. Francis of Assisi, who had teach some peasants how to produce it. Practically, we can say that the Ricotta Romana is characterized by an important past!
How to prepare the Ricotta Romana
As we mentioned just above, ricotta takes its name from its processing. The whey obtained from the pecorino cheese processing is then heated again and acidified.
The ricotta collection is then carried out and the ricotta is put into containers with conical shape and rested for a period ranging from 8 to 24 hours, to remove the serum.
After that, ricotta is placed in refrigerated cells and is ready to be consumed.
The Ricotta Romana looks like the other kinds of ricotta: it is white and characterized by a lumpy structure. However, it is recognizable for the typical sweet taste, due to the greater amount of fat present than the vaccine ricotta.
Uses and pairings
The Ricotta Romana is a dairy product with a delicate flavor, that could be easily combined with cooked vegetables and salads.
However, this ricotta is good even as filling for salty dishes, such as ravioli and cannelloni, or for some cakes, like for example cannoli.
The Ricotta Romana matches well with light-bodied wines with fresh and fruity flavors, which do not cover its delicate taste.