In Sweden, as the expression goes, when you pay someone back with gammal ost (old cheese), you are getting revenge. In Italy, when someone pays you back with old cheese, say for example, a chunk of 24-month aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, you give them a big hug and a nice kiss.
Ricotta is an old cheese in different sense. Dating back to the Bronze Age, the Etruscans and then the Roman aristocracy loved their ricotta, and there are urns and graters to prove it.
Ricotta can be made from sheep, cow, goat, or Bufala. Literally meaning “recooked,” the fermented whey is heated to near boiling and then cooled and passed through a fine cloth. Ricotta salata (or secca or stagionata) is made when fresh ricotta is left to drain for a few days and is then salted with coarse sea salt and aged up to 60 days.
So get yourself some gammal ost, Italian style, and grate it atop your favorite pasta. Revenge has never tasted so sweet.
Check out our wine pairings to complement this recipe.
Puree the tomatoes in a blender or pass them through a food mill. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until golden. Add the tomatoes, and salt and pepper and the basil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until reduced.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it well and add it to the sauce, and then mix well over medium heat. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of ricotta salata.