[Sca-cooks] Period pasta sauce

Antonia Calvo ladyadele at paradise.net.nz
Tue Dec 15 12:37:01 PST 2009

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mystery of what this fresh, dripping-with-milk-and-butter Sicilian cheese could be - fresh tuma (I understand it was originally made from sheep's milk, but it's more often made with cows milk today).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.

That looks like it would do well in quite a few "fresh cheese" dishes.  
One of my pet hates is the equation of "fresh cheese" with either cream 
cheese or ricotta, and I'm always on the lookout for better options.
On another note, I don't have the book in front of me, but I believe 
Scappi makes many references to provatura cheese.

> 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.

I couldn't spot a price for fresh tuma, but I find pasta with cheese 
isn't excessively expensive to serve, even if cheese isn't exactly 
economical.  200g of cheese + 50g of butter is plenty for 500g of dry 
pasta, and that makes at least 12 feast portions. 

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo

Habeo metrum - musicamque,
hominem meam. Expectat alium quid?
-Georgeus Gershwinus

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