Traditional, creamery, whey cheese made from cow's milk. It is a basin-shaped
cheese, pure white and wet but not sticky. Good Ricotta should be firm, not
solid and consist of a mass of fine, moist, delicate grains, neither salted nor
ripened. It is white, creamy and mild and is primarily used as an ingredient in
lasagna. It is primarily made with cow's milk whey which is heated to 170
degrees F. Citric acid is added to encourage destabilization and separation and
the temperature is quickly raised to 185°F. Proteins from the whey separate rise
and coagulate; the proteins are skimmed off and put in a wicker basket to drain
for two days after which the "cheese" is ready for market. 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).
Information from cheese.com
Three Cheese and Salami Pie
1 baked 9-inch pie shell
2 T. olive oil
1 C. chopped onions
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 T. packed chopped fresh basil
2 C. or 1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
2 roasted red sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 C. grated parmesan cheese
2 oz. Genoa salami, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 C. bread crumbs
Prepare the pie shell and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add
onions and saute until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
garlic and basil and cook 1 minute more. Set aside.
In large bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, roasted red peppers, 1/2 cup
parmesan cheese, salami and Jack cheese. Stir in reserved onion mixture. Spread
cheese mixture evenly in baked pie shell.
In small bowl, mix bread crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Sprinkle
mixture over filling. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over top.
Bake at 375°F. about 25 minutes, until topping is lightly browned and filling is
set. Cool thoroughly. Serve at room temperature.
Cooled pie can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Wrap individual slices in
aluminum foil for traveling.