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One Cheese, Five Ways: Ricotta Salata


Ricotta Salata

A longtime staple on Italian menus, ricotta salata has recently become an in” cheese for chefs around the globeIt makes senseIt’s an incredibly versatile wedge, providing cooks with both acid and salt, two crucial components for any successful dish. While much firmer than its dollopy cousin, (that would be regular ol’ ricotta), ricotta salata is also made from whey—specifically, that of Pecorino Romano. Since it’s a sheep’s milk cheese, the block boasts a slightly gamy flavor. Here, we use the tart, crumbly wheel to kick up chicken salad, lend a zesty note to couscous, brighten pork ragu, and more. After all, comfort food shouldn’t be one-note.

Pork Ragu with Ciabatta and Ricotta Salata

Serve this ragu over pasta, polenta, oras herewith thick slices of toasted bread. The ragu freezes well, so double the recipe if you’d like.

Orange Chicken Salad

Serve this simple yet stunning chicken salad over leaves of crisp lettuce or on a buttery croissant.

Zucchini and Radicchio Couscous

This couscous dish is prepared risotto style, giving it a deep, satisfying flavor and texture.

Spinach Gnocchi with Prosciutto and Ricotta Salata

Once poached, toss the gnocchi in melted butter or olive oil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Simply warm in the sauce or bake as a gratin. 

Mushroom Walnut Bisque with Ricotta Salata

Splurge on high-quality wild mushrooms for this recipe—we especially love oyster, enoki, and shiitake varieties.

Photographed by Jennifer Silverberg.

Cassy Vires

Cassy is an award-winning chef, culinary educator, and avid baker located in St. Louis, MO.

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