This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Matt & Lentil Purbrick · Nonno Giuseppe's Cacioricotta

Food

From their new cookbook, ‘The Village‘, Matt and Lentil Purbrick of Grown & Gathered document recipes from important people in their lives and in their community. Today’s recipe is for a cacioricotta – a cheese that uses a hybrid processing technique, somewhere between a hard cheese and a ricotta. Take note of the field guide, recipe notes and special equipment required for this recipe.

The most important thing to know? This cheese is good on EVERYTHING!

11th September, 2018

This cheese recipe can be made using either cows’ or goats’ milk. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Matt and Lentil learnt this recipe from Nonno Giuseppe – introduced to them by friend Stella in Puglia. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

If you want to make cured cacioricotta, it holds its shape much better if you leave it in the moulds for 12 hours. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Scooping out the curd. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Cacioricotta – halfway between a hard cheese and a ricotta! Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Matt and Lentil Purbrick
Tuesday 11th September 2018

We are so excited to bring you this cheese, because it is so good, yet so simple. Plus, it’s actually two cheese recipes in one – a fresh cheese and a cured grating cheese! This isn’t traditional ricotta. It is a blend of a hard cheesemaking process and the ricotta-making process. But the results are as good as the best ricotta you’ve ever eaten. It is rich, delicious, and addictive.

We learnt to make this cheese from Nonno Giuseppe – a sweet and stoic man that our friend introduced to use in Puglia. He usually makes it with goat’s milk, but it works great with cow’s milk too, and no doubt also with sheep’s. Giuseppe says that it is just for pasta, but we think it’s great on everything.

Ingredients

2 litres goat’s milk (see notes)

1 teaspoon unrefined salt

1/4 teaspoon of calf or vegetarian chymosin rennet (see field notes)

1 litre (4 cups) boiling water

Special equipment

thermometer
2 x 1 litre plastic bottles, filled with water and frozen solid
3-4 ricotta moulds, about 9-10cm in diameter and 7-8cm deep

Field notes – on cultures and rennet

Cultures and rennet are the two key ingredients in cheesemaking. Fortunately, these days, it’s super easy to order both online, or alternatively, they can be bought at cheesemaking stores and ever some health-food stores. The culture populates the milk with friendly bacteria (like the natural cultures in yoghurt) and the rennet separates the milk proteins from the whey so that you can capture the cheese solids from the milk.

Method

Add the milk to a 3 litre (or larger) heavy-based pot and bring to near boil (between 80-90C) over medium heat, then turn off the heat. Stir in the salt, then lower in the ice bottle to rapidly cool to 38°C, which should take about 10-15 minutes. Remove the bottles at exactly 38°C. If you accidentally cool the milk too much, that’s fine, just gently warm it back up to exactly 38°C.

Once at temperature, in a small bowl, mix the rennet with 80ml (⅓ cup) of water, then add to the milk. Stir thoroughly (Giuseppe does exactly ten vigorous stirs), then set aside and leave completely undisturbed for 45 minutes to 1 hour, by which point the curd should be set (not hard set, but definitely set – see notes).

Stir the curds swiftly and thoroughly in one direction to completely disintegrate them, then add the boiling water, filling your 3-litre pot to about 1cm from the top. The curds will set again and then sink. Place a ricotta mould on top of the liquid and let it sink in – this is your barrier to stop you from ladling out curd rather than pure whey. Begin to remove a ladleful of whey at a time from the inside of the mould into a container or bowl – keep this whey for baking bread or souring grains.

Continue to ladle until most of the whey has gone and the liquid level is even with the curds. Place the remaining moulds on a rack over the sink (or a tray if you want to keep catching the whey) and use the mould in the pot to scoop the curds out into the others, filling all the moulds to the top. You should fill about three moulds. Drain for 2 hours if making fresh cacioricotta. If you want to make cured cacioricotta, it holds its shape much better if you leave it in the moulds for 12 hours.

Eating it fresh

After 2 hours draining in the moulds, turn out the cheeses and place in an airtight container with a few tablespoons of whey. They will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Curing it for grating

After 12 hours draining in the moulds, turn out the cheeses and sprinkle a little salt on the top and bottom of each, then place on a slightly sloping board in an open, shaded and airy place for 6-8 days, flipping them every other day (see notes).

After 8 days, refrigerate the cured cheeses in an airtight container. If a little mould has formed on the outside during curing, that’s fine, just wipe the cheese down with a clean cloth dipped in cool water before placing in the container. Your finished grating cheese will be firm, almost crumbly and quite salty – but fantastic grated over almost anything!

Recipe Notes

You can also make this recipe using cow’s milk. We’ve found that when you use cow’s milk, however, it can take much longer than 2 hours for the curd to set (even up to 12 hours). That’s okay, just wait until it has set before proceeding.

If you live in a particularly hot and humid climate you may have trouble curing the cacioricotta without mould becoming a problem, but it’s worth a shot.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Food

Fresh Ricotta with Flat Beans & Spelt Sourdough Breadcrumbs

A super quick and simple dish combining fresh ricotta, greens and sourdough crumbs.
Ashley Alexander

Food

Ricotta Gnocchi in a Light Summer Sauce

Julia Busuttil-Nishimura wraps up her month of perfect pastas, with a classic gnocchi dish.
Julia Busuttil-Nishimura

Food

Matt & Lentil Purbrick · Lach's Bacon And Veggie Brown Rice Risotto

The good food and gardening experts from Grown and Gathered share their mate Lach's killer risotto recipe from their new book, 'The Village'...
Matt and Lentil Purbrick

This Week

Homes

A Cheerful Beachside Retreat

Virginia Morris' colourful 1980s Anglesea home, located just 100 steps from the beach!

Architecture

An Elwood Bungalow That Draws From Within

A innovative extension around a circular garden creates an inward focus to this California bungalow extension by Rob Kennon Architects.

Architecture

A Minimalist, Semi-Prefabricated Beach House

Architect Hannah Tribe of Tribe Studio developed a prototype for a partially prefabricated kit home for her own family beach house in Bundee...

Interiors

The Timeless Update Of A 1950s Portsea Beach House

Pipkorn Kilpatrick improve the flow and functionality of this 1956 home originally designed by Robin Boyd, ensuring its legacy remains in ta...

News

A Lifetime Of Mim Design Projects In One Book!

‘Works’ is a tome celebrating 21 years of Miriam Fanning’s sophisticated interiors + architecture practice.
Sasha Aarons

Interiors

A Dreamy Seaside Artist’s Studio On A 19th Century Farm

Watts Studio and Amiconi Architect collaborate on a new artist's studio on historic Spray Farm on the Bellarine Peninsula. It's a work of ar...

Architecture

A Grecian-Inspired Update For A California Bungalow

Alcorn Middleton update a 1980s family home with arches, white-washed columns and a inspired by quintessential Santorini architecture.

14 Brands Making Waves With The Wiggly Trend

From undulating limestone vases to wiggly steel coat-stands, here are 14 wavy furniture pieces and homewares we love!

Shopping

The New Ceramics Studio Built On Centuries Of Inherited Knowledge

The debut collection from new ceramics studio House Editions by Claudia Lau brings porcelain bowls, plates and vases in experimental glazes

Creative People

The Trailblazing Couple Behind Brisbane's New Indigenous Art Centre

Amanda Hayman and Troy Casey are the entrepreneurial couple behind Brisbane's most exciting new art gallery and retail space!
36.05

Podcast

Dinosaur Designs Co-Founder Louise Olsen On Building An Iconic Australian Brand, On TDF Talks

Lucy Feagins talks to the legendary designer and artist about building an iconic Australian design brand.
2.37

Interiors

YSG Studio Brings 'Afternoon Delight' To This Dreamy Kitchen Design for Laminex

We take a closer look at YSG Studio's stunning new collaboration with Laminex!

Interiors

A Curvaceous + Calm Edwardian Home Renovation

Working within the exisiting footprint, CJH Studio transformed this Melbourne home with smart planning and minimalist interiors.

Architecture

A Mid-Century Reimagining Of A Bells Beach Home

Bones House by Lachlan Shepherd Architects is a mid-century inspired makeover of a brick veneer home facing Bells Beach.

11 Brilliant Lighting Designs That Will Light Up Your Life!

From delicate frosted tubes to sculptural glass chandeliers, these are the finalists in the Lighting Design category of The Design Files + L...

Similar Stories

Food

Fresh Ricotta with Flat Beans & Spelt Sourdough Breadcrumbs

A super quick and simple dish combining fresh ricotta, greens and sourdough crumbs.
Ashley Alexander

Food

Ricotta Gnocchi in a Light Summer Sauce

Julia Busuttil-Nishimura wraps up her month of perfect pastas, with a classic gnocchi dish.
Julia Busuttil-Nishimura

Food

Matt & Lentil Purbrick · Lach's Bacon And Veggie Brown Rice Risotto

The good food and gardening experts from Grown and Gathered share their mate Lach's killer risotto recipe from their new book, 'The Village'...
Matt and Lentil Purbrick

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.