Ricotta salata (salted ricotta) is an Italian cheese with a crumbly texture. It is made by salting, aging, and pressing [fresh ricotta cheese](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-make-homemade-ricotta-cheese-tips-and-3-ingredient-recipe). Sometimes called the Italian feta cheese, ricotta salata has a semi-firm texture and can be sliced, grated, or crumbled.\n\nRicotta salata is mild yet salty, which makes it a great seasoning agent for many dishes. It has a subtly milky flavor, similar to regular ricotta, but a dry texture that’s sponge-like, clay-like, and chalky.\nRicotta salata is made from fresh ricotta—a whey cheese—that is pressed, salted, and aged for at least two months. (Whey is the liquid that’s generally thought of as a waste product from cheesemaking, but cheeses like traditional ricotta are made from the leftover whey.) Ricotta salata is sometimes made with the whey leftover from making [pecorino](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/a-guide-to-pecorino-cheese) romano. \nThere are a few key differences between these two kinds of cheese:\n\n- __Flavor__: Ricotta salata is much saltier than fresh ricotta.\n- __Texture__: Fresh ricotta has a creamy, spreadable texture, while ricotta salata is dry and crumbly.\n- __Milk__: Ricotta salata is typically made with sheep's milk ricotta, while fresh ricotta is often made with cow's milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, or buffalo milk.\nRicotta salata is an ideal cheese to garnish a meal because of its saltiness and harder texture. Try it grated on pasta in place of grated parmesan or pecorino romano. It's also the perfect salad or antipasto cheese. Crumble or shave ricotta salata onto piles of shaved fennel, slices of prosciutto, ribbons of zucchini, or cubes of watermelon with olive oil.\nBecome a better chef with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Massimo Bottura, Gabriela Cámara, Niki Nakayama, Chef Thomas Keller, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters, and more.\nRicotta salata is a crumbly sheep's milk cheese from Sicily that can enhance your favorite Italian dishes.