Did you know that "Ricotta" literally means "re-cooked."
Ricotta cheese is made by cooking its own whey which creates a fine curd. It is then left to cool and then separated by passing the liquid through a fine cloth.
Ricotta is also originally made from Sheep's milk (not cow's) "Ricotta Di Pecora," which actually has a little bit of a stronger, milder flavour to it than cow's ricotta.
The cheese in Europe is completely different. It tastes different depending on the region you are in and the producer, but they are all fresh. In Canada, you rarely find fresh made cheeses, readily accessible at least. I often have to travel far to buy artisanal cheese.
Walking through the mercato the other day and finding ricotta that was made fresh the day before was an absolute delight to me.
I knew there and then that I had to put this marvellous cheese to good use. I decided that was going to make a frittata with Italian zucchini, its flowers, and fresh ricotta di pecora.
I've been in Rome for a few weeks now. I've gone to the market several times to look and to buy a couple of things here and there.
I am not only unfamiliar with the language but how people shop here. So I watch the interactions between Italians and the vendors.
I walked by the fish section and saw all the catches of the day. It was amazing to see such freshness. Something that again you don't see in Canada. It reminded me of the markets in Peru where vendors proudly display full fillets of a variety of fish, even the heads of some of the bigger fish like Sword fish and Tuna.
I so badly wanted to get some fish but I found myself again unfamiliar with some of the types of seafood on the table and how to ask for the exact quantity I wanted in Italian.
So I turned around and decided to settle for something simple and more familiar...and easier to order.
Cheese is pretty easy and there is cheese everywhere here. You find Mozzarella, Pecorino, Parmigiano, Ricotta, Caciocavallo...it's truly a dream I tell you.
After a round around the market, I found a little stall that had a small spread of their cheeses. From what I understood by their signs was that it was all from their farm. So I gave them a chance. Plus their ricotta just looked splendid.
And splendid it was!
After purchasing some ricotta, I went to buy the rest of the ingredients: Leeks, onions, potatoes, cherry tomatoes (pomodori ciliegini), zucchini, and the zucchini flowers.
- 1 large zucchini / 2 medium ones - diced in small pieces
- 3-5 zucchini flowers
- 160g of fresh ricotta
- Half a sweet onion chopped
- 3/4 cup leek, thinly sliced
- Coconut oil, 1 tbsp to fry onions and leeks (you can use any oil or butterl but I use coconut oil)
- 10 eggs
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- Salt and pepper to taste