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What Is Stracciatella Cheese?
Stracciatella is an Italian cheese product made from pulled mozzarella curds mixed with heavy cream. It is a type of pasta filata ("spun paste") cheese. The word stracciatella means “rag” and comes from the word strattore ("to stretch"). In Puglia, Italy, stracciatella is made from mozzarella di bufala (buffalo milk mozzarella cheese), but in the United States, stracciatella is typically made with pasteurized cow's milk.
What Does Stracciatella Cheese Taste Like?
Since it's made with cream, stracciatella tastes incredibly rich. Texturally, it's similar to Italian stracciatella soup or Chinese egg drop soup, with wisps of cheese curds bound together by cream. Unlike balls of fresh mozzarella, stracciatella is more liquid than solid, so it's typically best to spoon it out of the container. If you've ever cut into a ball of fresh burrata cheese, the gooey interior that spilled out was stracciatella.
How to Make Stracciatella Cheese
To make stracciatella, start with fresh mozzarella curds—the same type of curds used to make balls of mozzarella cheese. To make the curds pliable, soak them in hot water. You can then stretch the curds into long ropes and then thinner strands. Cut the strands into small pieces and transfer them to a container of cream. Stir the curds and cream together and let sit until most of the cream is absorbed. Stracciatella cheese should be refrigerated and eaten as quickly as possible.
5 Ways to Serve Stracciatella Cheese
Stracciatella's mild flavor pairs well with many foods. Try it:
- On toast: For bruschetta, spread this fresh cheese on toast drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- On pizza: Add stracciatella to a tomato-sauce-and-prosciutto pizza once it's out of the oven for an elevated, comforting dinner.
- On pasta: Fresh pasta goes wonderfully with stracciatella. Try a dollop on spaghetti bolognese or gnocchi with marinara sauce.
- With roasted veggies: Roasted root vegetables on a bed of stracciatella make for an easy appetizer. Try glazing the veggies with honey or balsamic for the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
- With tomatoes: If you love the flavors of caprese salad, try swapping the mozzarella for fresh stracciatella. The rich, creamy cheese pairs well with acidic tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Garnish with a pile of fresh herbs.
Easy Homemade Stracciatella Cheese Recipe
Prep Time20 min
Total Time30 min
Cook Time10 min
- 1 pound mozzarella curds
- 5 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more if needed
- 3 gallons distilled water
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- Drain the curds. Place the drained curds in a large glass or stainless steel bowl and set aside.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine salt and filtered water and stir to dissolve. Heat water to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, then remove from heat and ladle the hot water over the curds to cover completely.
- Let sit until soft, about 2–5 minutes, then use a rubber spatula to press the curds together into a single mass. As the water cools, drain and replace with more hot, salted water. Continue to press and stir the curds until they feel stretchy and look shiny, replacing water as needed. Meanwhile, transfer the cream to a large bowl.
- Pull a piece of curd away from the mass and stretch it into a thin string. Transfer the string to the cream and stir to coat. Repeat this process until all of the curds have been stretched and transferred to the cream. Using clean kitchen scissors, cut the curds into 1-inch pieces. Stir to combine and refrigerate until completely cool.
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