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Today's Recipe: Pecorino Piccante

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Spiced Pecorino Cheese

This is a wonderfully simple appetizer or antipasto for an Italian dinner.
The beauty of this dish is, in fact, its simplicity. The young Pecorino
Sienese cheese that is traditionally used for this dish is not always easy
to find in the US, but it is becoming more common. Don’t use the aged
Pecorino Romano for this, but a few good substitutes would be young
Italian Provolone, Feta and many goats milk cheeses.

7 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp whole peppercorns
3/4 lb Pecorino Sienese or substitutes cut into 1/2" cubes
6 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil

Place fennel seed and peppercorns in a small paper bag and wrap well so that
there's several layers of paper around the spices. Crush spices coarsely with
a mallet or broad sided knife. Don’t run through a grinder or use a food
processor - you want a nice, rough crush.

Combine cheese with spices and oil in a covered bowl and refrigerate over
night. About 30 minutes to an hour before serving, remove from refrigerator,
place in serving dish, and serve, at room temperature, with wooden picks.

Credit: My notes say "Stucchi-Prinetti from Tuscany"
post #2 of 6
I think this type of pecorino may go by the name
Pecorino de Ripienzo or something like that. An unaged
soft pecorino with a pretty strong flavor. The consistency
is about the same a provolone.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
It might go by that name in some places, but the Pecorino Sienese noted here is from Siena, and is treated and aged in very specific ways. There well may be a Pecorino de Ripienzo, and it may indeed be similar, but it's a cheese I've never heard of - perhaps you've spelled it wrong as there is a Pecorino that has a somewhat similar spelling with which I'm vaguely familiar.

In any case, this recipe came directly from Lorenza via a mutual acquaintance, no adjustments were made to it, and it was given to me about 13 years ago, so it's possible new cheeses have been introduced to the US since then.

You've got me curious, so I'll check with a couple of my cheese merchants who specialize in Italian cheeses.


post #4 of 6
now I remember, Pecorino de Pienza. I think anyway.
a place I believe. Used to get unaged pecorino or soft
pecorino and thats what I believe it was. Wish I spoke
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ahhh .... Pienza. It's a great cheese, aged for about a year, usually wrapped in walnut leaves and aged in a crock. Totally different from the Sienese in the processing.

Mmmm .... I sense a cheese tasting coming up :lips:

post #6 of 6
This is getting made, by me, this weekend. Thanks!
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