Ricotta is not actually a “real” cheese (produced with aged curd), because it is the result of the processing of the whey that gets separated from the curd; therefore, it should be referred to as a simple dairy product. Different types of ricotta, made from sheep, cow, buffalo and goat milk, are sold on the market. The term ricotta comes from the Latin recoctus (‘re-cooked’), which refers to the double cooking of the whey at the end of the production of the cheese. Unskimmed whole whey is the best one for this product. While the whey is heating up, we add an acidifying agent (lactic acid); the whey is then constantly stirred, until the solidified ricotta starts to surface (fioritura). The ricotta is then left to rest.
Fresh ricotta can be used to prepare desserts (e.g. the famous Sicilian cannoli), but also savoury dishes, such as vegetarian tortelloni and quiches.
This is a product that should be present in every type of diet because it combines a delicious taste with a low-caloric intake.