Salted ricotta cheese from Sicily.
Ricotta Salata is one of Italy's most unusual and least understood sheep's milk cheeses. The milk curds and whey used to make this cheese are pressed and dried even before the cheese is aged, giving this pure white cheese a dense but slightly spongy texture and a salty, milky flavor -- like a dry Italian feta.
Despite its name, this is not ricotta as Americans have come to know ricotta. In Italian, ricotta simply means ""recooked."" It is a cheese-making process rather than a specific cheese. This ricotta is also a salata, or ""salted,"" cheese. Sicily, because of its abundance of sheep, is justifiably famous for its sheep's milk cheeses.
Use ricotta salata to dice into salads of all kinds--particularly pasta salads and spinach salads, or serve with fresh or grilled vegetables, beans, and fruit. Its firm texture makes it perfect for tossing. Also try ricotta salata crumbled over garlicky sauteed vegetables, tomato-based sauces and bean dishes.
and now here's a recipe for you to try from a long time favorite recipe source of mine; epicurious dot com:
A young sheep’s-milk cheese such as Italy’s ricotta salata or pecorino Romano (which is easier to find) is best for this salad. Other good choices include Italian Toscanello and Manchego from Spain, which are also made from sheep’s milk.
Servings: Makes 6 servings.
PreparationWhisk shallot and lemon juice in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes to blend flavors.
Combine arugula and sliced fennel in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat salad. Add shaved cheese; toss gently and serve.