All about ricotta al forno from Sicily
Most of you have probably heard of ricotta cheese, or even use it in cooking. In its fresh form it is white, soft and quite bland tasting. In Sicily, Italy, where it comes from, fresh ricotta is fluffy, light and has a wonderful taste. Ricotta al Forno is the result of the fresh product being drained, then sprinkled with salt and baked in an oven. In Sicily, it is made of whey, a by-product after the making of other sheep milk cheeses. It has been made for thousands of years, which means that they’ve had a lot of time to perfect the process.
How is ricotta al forno different from regular ricotta cheese
The resulting cheese is firm enough to grate with a brown, strong tasting crust on the outside. In Sicily it’s grated onto the top of their famous pasta dish Pasta alla Norma, made with aubergine and tomatoes. I brought a huge lump of ricotta al forno back with me when I visited the island. It was so large it took up half my hand-luggage space, but it was worth it!
What to eat in Sicily
Sicily is an incredible island full of wonderful food and mesmerizing scenery. When I went there, I think I put on a kilo a day. The food was incredible! By the time we left I nearly had ricotta streaming out of my ears after all the cannoli filled with the fresh cheese that I ate. That’s not counting all the rest of the food I stuffed myself with: the pasta alla Norma, the arancini, the granita…..the list of foods eaten in the short time I was there would fill up the whole page!
By Lisa Watson