[Sca-cooks] Period pasta sauce

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Tue Dec 15 12:00:10 PST 2009

I contacted Mistress Eibhlin (the cheese laurel) yesterday about this  

She suggested:

Mascarpone is a good assumption. Another possibility would be sour  
cream or a clotted cream.  We have more records on the hard cheeses  
from this are than of the soft/fresh ones.

That recipe sounds really good!


I asked about ricotta and she wrote back:

Not really wrong, but the texture doesn't really match what I  
interpretted from the description. I find that in many cases where the  
recipe mentions buttery or milky cheese that a cheese with a similar  
texture works better. Ricotta is a pretty grainy cheese because it's  
cooked to a high temperature. Mascarpone, sour cream, and clotted  
cream are allowed to curd at much lower temps so you have a very  
different flavor and mouth-feel with the final product.


So maybe a fresh mascarpone which I understand we can't get here due  
to import restrictions.


On Dec 15, 2009, at 2:49 PM, Christiane wrote:
> Actually, I think I have solved the mystery of what this fresh,  
> dripping-with-milk-and-butter Sicilian cheese could be - fresh tuma  
> (I understand it was originally made from sheep's milk, but it's  
> more often made with cows milk today). Aged tuma is eaten as a table  
> cheese, but the very fresh, just barely out of the mold (12 hours)  
> stuff would be very similar to fresh mozzarella or a firm ricotta in  
> texture, and it's weepy.
> Here is Saputo of Canada's version of it:
> http://www.saputo.ca/client/en/cons/Fromages/parlons.asp?id=119&cat=1
> There's a gourmet cheese store in South Philadelphia that sells a  
> version of aged tuma, "Tuma Persa" ("Lost Tuma," so called because  
> the producer of the cheese discovered a 100-year-old recipe for the  
> cheese in a closet in his new home outside of Palermo, and  
> recognized that this recipe had been lost). I should ask them if  
> they have fresh tuma.
> I found mention of a modern-day pastry from the Madonie Mountains of  
> Sicily; they are stuffed with fresh tuma and flavored with chocolate  
> and cinnamon. I guess they're using it similar to ricotta in cannoli.
> So, if I were recreating the dish of pasta as described by Landi for  
> a feast, I'd use a combination of very fresh mozzarella and ricotta,  
> tossed with the hot pasta and then sprinkled with the cinnamon and  
> sugar; I am betting that tuma would be so expensive it would be  
> priced out of just about every feast budget.
> Adelisa

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list