Ricotta is used in pasta dishes with fettuccine or tortellini, in dumplings, and as
stuffing for ravioli or eggplant. As a dessert
cheese, it can be baked in pastry, used to create molded cream desserts, or served lightly
sweetened with fruit.
Buying and storing tips
Ricotta is perishable and can be kept, refrigerated, for about a week. When purchasing an
Italian ricotta, avoid any product that tastes sharp and fruity, as that indicates that the
cheese is no longer fresh. Ricotta should be sweet and mild, ready to eat as it comes out of
the package, with pasta, fruit, or
Ricotta, like other cheeses, varies according to the type of milk from which it is made, by
the region or country in which it is produced, and by the process used in its production.
Cheese gourmets highly recommend the Italian varieties.
In Italy, ricotta salta, which resembles feta, is made by salting and drying the curd. Ricotta
infornata is a Sicilian variety that is baked. In northern Italy, ricotta is
processed by smoking it. Other Italian varieties include sheep’s milk ricotta, called
ricotta di pecora, a cows’ milk variety molded in little baskets called
ricotta di vacca, and others. Goat’s milk ricotta made in Switzerland is called
zieger, and in Greece manouri. Very firm ricotta secca can be used
as a grating cheese. Other types of Ricotta are made in France, Spain, and Portugal.
Ricotta, 1/2 cup (124g) (part skim milk)
Total Fat: 10g
*Excellent source of: Calcium (337mg), Magnesium (183mg), and Selenium (21mcg)
*Good source of: Vitamin A (536 IU)
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular
nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good
source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily
The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes
only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult
your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any
supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications.