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Ricotta: (sometimes called Brocotte) is an Italian cheese originally made just with "whey", but now often enriched with whole or skimmed milk. The name literally means re-cooked.

What we generally find in Britain is Ricotto Piemontese, made from cows"-milk. Supermarket have this in it"s fresh and young state (tipo dolce), when it is ideal used in cooking for making "cheesecakes", "gnocchi" or filling "ravioli" and other stuffed pastas - in this form it resembles a white cream cheese.

More mature versions include tipo moliterno, which is salted and dried; while tipo forte is fully-matured to make it suitable for grating.

Ricotta Romana, Sarda, Siciliana and Toscana all have more character than the Piemontese version, as they are made from the "whey" left over from the making of their respective Pecorini.

Ewes', goats' and buffalo milk versions are also found in its homeland.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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