Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to pop into your local supermarket and buy sheep’s milk ricotta made that morning? The Loria family get up at 3am every day to make cheese and ricotta; then their bashed up van hurtles down the pot-holed dirt road from their mountainside farm to distribute still warm ricotta (in little plastic baskets) to the shops in their area while most folk are still contemplating their first expresso coffee of the day.
They make pecorino, plain and spiced with peperoncino, as well as a primo sale pecorino cheese. This tastes like a less salty version of halloumi: rather bland and rubbery, if I’m honest. And I was curious how Signora Loria cooked with it.
She instantly rushed off to her kitchen to show me. The cheese was sliced, fried in her family’s olive oil until brown on both sides; then she whisked 6 eggs (from her hens) along with a fistful of chopped mint (from her vegetable patch); poured this mixture over the cheese and fried until set. To ensure a golden egg colour on both sides, she flipped the frittata with an élan borne of decades of practise. The end result was delicious and substantial. How can you go wrong with a dish where the ingredients all come from within 10 metres of your kitchen?
Primo sale is tricky to find, but cow’s milk mozzarella – more dense than buffalo mozzarella – would make a good substitute. For extra oomph add some chopped up fresh chilli.
If you happen to be in the Agrigento region of Sicily, the Loria caseificio is half way up a mountain, but still worth making the visit if you speak Sicilian. Contact them in advance:
Contrada Ficuzza tel 0922909926