The cheese Caciocavallo Silano is no dubt one of the most ancient and typical kinds of ropy paste cheese from Southern Italy. In 500 B.C. Hippocrates mentioned this production to emphasize the Greeks’ cleverness at preparing cheese.
The production area of Caciocavallo Silano, that has a configuration like the spots of a leopard, lies mainly along the Southern Appennine ridge, and includes territories situated mostly in the regions: Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise and Puglia.
The production of Caciocavallo Silano begins with curdling of fresh milk at the temperature of 36-38° using cheese-rennet in veal paste.
Once the curd has reached the desired consistency, a few minutes after, it will be broken till the lumps reach the size of a hazelnut. Then the curd begins maturing, which consist in a strong lactic fermentation that will last on
average from 4 to 10 hours and may go on further depending on acidity of the processed milk, temperature, mass or other factors. Maturing of the paste is archieved when it ropes; the maturing times are checked taking, at short intervals, some small pieces from the paste, dipped in nearly boiling water to test elasticity, that is to say if the paste has become ropy. At this point, a typical operation will take place, cosisting in forming a sort of cord to reach the desired shape. Afterwards, each piece of paste will be closed on the top, and all the pieces dipped quickly in boiling water. The operation will be completed by hand. The minimum time required for maturing is 30 days.
Ingredients for 4 people:
• 300 g of caciocavallo silano
• 300 g of butterflies pasta
• 300 g of small tomatoes
• 2 cloves of garlic, basil, parsley, mint, olives, oil, salt.
Cook butterflies in abundant salty water and train them underdone. Put them in a tureen. Put a frying-pan on fire, with oil and the cloves; as they are just gided take them of, remove frying-pan from fire, add very minced basil, mint and parsley and pour out contents as prepared on the pasta. Add little tomatoes cuted to little pieces and the caciocavallo cuted to little cubes. Mix rapidly amalgamating carefully the ingredients. Keep butterflies in a fresh place up to wait at table.