Posted by: lisetta | November 3, 2008

Ricotta

I picked up some ricotta thinking it was high time I make a torta di ricotta, but instread found myself using it tonight with farfalle, for a sort of “macaroni and cheese” feel. Nothing special, just something quick and easy. All I did was add a spoonful of ricotta (and some grated grana padano) to the cooked pasta. It melts quickly, and becomes a nice little ‘sauce’. 

Check out what I learned tonight about ricotta cheese: 

Technically, ricotta is not a cheese at all, but a cheese by-product. Its name, ricotta, meanscooked again, an obvious reference to the production method used to make it. 

Ricotta is made from the whey drained from such cheeses as mozzarella, provolone, and other cheeses. American ricotta is generally made with a combination of whey and whole, low-fat, or skim cow’s milk.  [Text grabbed from here.]

Then I got to wondering what exactly whey is, and learned from Wikipedia that:

Whey or milk plasma is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained; it is a by-productof the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Sweet whey is manufactured during the making of rennet types of hard cheese like cheddar or Swiss cheese. Acid whey (also known as sour whey) is obtained during the making of acid types of cheese such as cottage cheese.

Though my pasta came more than an hour after my workout tonight, I found the following interesting as well:

Often commercial whey protein shakes are consumed post-workout by individuals who are trying to gain muscle mass. Whey digests very rapidly and thus the amino acids enter the blood stream faster than other protein sources. This fast acting protein is beneficial in the post work-out “anabolic window” (0-45 minutes after training) because the muscle tissue is most receptive to insulin and nutrients in the blood. This is also the reason why carbohydrates are recommended post workout: to replenish glycogen stores and boost insulin release as well.

So much for avoiding a nutritionist view! I’m too tired tonight to synthesize this all into my own words, but wanted to share. Can’t help but recall a time many years ago when I was visiting friends in Lucca: we ate ricotta cheese for dessert, sprinkled with sugar. Maybe I’ll try that tomorrow.

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Responses

  1. Interesting Read! Very detailed blog.
    Thanks for sharing


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