Ricotta is a dairy product made from sheep (or cow, goat, buffalo) milk whey left over from the production of cheese. It is made by coagulating milk proteins, notably albumin and globulin, left over in the whey that separates from the milk during the production of cheese. Ricotta curds are creamy white in appearance, slightly sweet in taste, and contain around 13% fat.
An aged ricotta which is usually grated and sprinkled on pasta. Regular soft ricotta is not an appropriate substitute.
Ricotta forte is produced by the process of letting the ricotta go sour in a controlled manner, for about a week, then stirring it every 2–3 days, salting occasionally and allowing the liquid to flow away. After about 100 days, the ricotta has the consistency of cream cheese, with a distinct, pungent, piquant aroma, much like blue cheese but much richer. Ricotta forte, tastes as it smells, extremely aromatic and piquant, with a definite bitter note. Tasted with the tip of the tongue, it has a “hot” sensation.