what can I use in place of ricotta salata in a dough
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Your best bet would be a sheep's milk feta. If it's a vacuum-packed block or crumbled already, you should be fine just making the substitution as-is. If it's packed in brine when you buy it, follow these steps once you get it home
-Pat the block dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel.
-Line a colander with cheesecloth or paper towels and place it over a bowl to catch the water that will drain from the feta.
-Crumble the feta into the colander, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and mix. This will draw out any additional moisture.
-Allow the feta to sit refrigerated in the colander for a few hours, in order to get it as dry as possible.
The reason you want to do this is because ricotta salata has a similar flavor to feta, but has much less moisture, so allowing the feta to drain will prevent the dough from becoming soggy. Good luck!
Isn't feta wicked salty? Saltier than ricotta salata? I would not use the same amounts if you are using this recommendation.
I would suggest use cottage cheese and mix in some salt to taste. That way you are in control of the saltiness.
If you can find Queso Fresco, it'd be a good substitute too.
Feta is salty, but so is ricotta salata, especially if you're using a traditional one made with sheep's milk. I work in the Specialty Foods department at Whole Foods (with all the fun cheeses) so I get questions like this all the time. Trust me, if you can't find the ricotta salata, feta will work the best. Queso fresco is a good option too. The texture of cottage cheese is completely different than ricotta salata. It will most likely make your dough too wet and sticky, because ricotta salata is a very dry, crumbly cheese, not a wet cheese with large curds like cottage cheese.
If you are concerned about the levels of salt in the dough and the recipe calls for salt additionally, I would add the cheese first, and avoid adding any extra salt to the dough itself. You can always taste it and if it's not salty enough for your preference, add a bit of salt in at the end, or sprinkle it on top. What kind of dough is it, exactly?
Agree with alextillotson! I was going to suggest feta in brine, drained on paper towels for a bit.