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Anything made of pasta is ultimately the best in comfort food. When you add cheese to it, it becomes even better.
Lasagna is the perfect combination of pasta and cheese. You have layers of noodles, meat, sauce, and very creamy cheese.
Lasagna is a great dinner to enjoy after a long hard day. It does take a while to prepare but is worth it when it all comes together.
Lasagna has many different types of cheese. You use mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese.
Most lasagna recipes call for ricotta cheese but some of them use cottage cheese instead. Using either ricotta or cottage cheese will make your lasagna taste amazing so you can use whichever you prefer.
Ricotta cheese is the smooth layer of cheese in between the noodles and meat in lasagna. It helps adhere your layers one to another.
When ricotta cheese is heated it does melt, but not the same way the mozzarella and parmesan cheese does. The ricotta stays creamy and the other cheeses simply melt.
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Is Ricotta Cheese Or Cottage Cheese Better In Lasagna?
Every ingredient is vital in a recipe. If you change just one ingredient it can change the outcome of the recipe.
If you forget baking soda in cookies, they are going to be pretty flat. Even though you don’t need much, it is still vital to the recipe.
What about lasagna? Does it matter which kind of cheese you use? Is there any benefit to choosing cottage cheese over ricotta cheese for your lasagna?
Ricotta cheese and cottage cheese have very similar tastes. If you are looking to save on calories and create a healthier lasagna, then cottage cheese is the better cheese to use.
Cottage cheese has a lower fat content. The main way cottage cheese and ricotta cheese differ is in their texture.
Cottage cheese is known for being curdled and chunky. If you want the healthier alternative but not the chunks, you can run the cottage cheese through a food processor.
This will eliminate the chunks and give you the smooth texture that ricotta cheese has.
Can You Substitute Ricotta Cheese In Lasagna?
You went shopping and had your list all ready to go with this week’s dinner recipes. You pull into the parking lot and realize that your perfectly organized list is on the counter.
No matter, you remember the dinners, so all you need is the ingredients to create those recipes. You remember all the ingredients, except the store is out of ricotta cheese for your lasagna.
Are there any other substitutes that you can use to create a creamy, cheesy lasagna?
You can use cottage cheese to substitute for the ricotta. Cottage cheese has a similar flavor to ricotta, just a chunkier texture.
When you choose cottage cheese for your lasagna, try to use small curd cottage cheese to match the texture of ricotta as closely as possible. You can also use a food processor on cottage cheese to create the right texture.
Cottage cheese is also a bit saltier than ricotta cheese; you may not need to minimize or remove the salt in the recipe.
Cream cheese does have a higher fat content than ricotta cheese. If you are looking for a healthier substitute, then cream cheese is not the best option.
However, the cream cheese does add a richer flavor than ricotta does. It is best to mix your cream cheese well so the mixture won’t be very thick.
Chevre (Soft Goat Cheese)
Chevre has a fluffy mixture that is similar to ricotta. Goat cheese has much more flavor than ricotta.
It is best to lower the salt in the recipe since the Chevre has enough flavor.
How Do You Prevent Homemade Lasagna From Becoming Watery?
There are so many ingredients in the lasagna that can end up making your lasagna rather watery. The tomatoes, beef, sauce, and cheese can all add unwanted moisture to your lasagna.
If you want a less watery, runny lasagna, follow these tips next time you make lasagna for dinner.
Choose Lean Ground Beef
Lean ground beef leaves less of a grease mess behind. Even if you strain your meat before adding it to your lasagna, it can still leave excess grease.
Though the fattier ground beef may be cheaper than lean, it is better to use lean beef to avoid extra “juices” in the lasagna. If you decide to go with the fattier beef, drain as much excess liquid as you can.
Thaw The Ingredients
If you have some frozen tomatoes that you plan on using in your lasagna, it is best to thaw them first.
Yes, you can add the frozen tomatoes to the lasagna and everything will taste fine. However, if you add the frozen tomatoes, as they thaw in the oven that moisture will make your lasagna a bit watery.
Do Not Over Layer The Lasagna
The best part of a lasagna is all the cheesy layers. While it may seem like a good idea to just keep layering on the layers, it can add extra moisture.
Too many layers do not allow the moisture to evaporate while baking. The extra layers will trap in extra moisture that can make your lasagna watery.
Allow Enough Time For Cooling
It is best to allow the lasagna time to cool before cutting into it and serving it. Allowing enough time for the lasagna to cool will let the juices soak into the noodles.
It is best to let your lasagna sit for a minimum of ten minutes to cool.
Make Sure The Lasagna Is Cooked Through
Not all ovens cook thoroughly as they can be rather temperamental at times. Though the dial may say 375º that does not mean that the oven is actually that temperature.
The best way to check if your lasagna is cooking evenly is with a digital thermometer. If you are still unsure if the lasagna is cooking properly, you can rotate the lasagna to ensure that your lasagna is thoroughly cooked.
Next time you make lasagna for dinner, be sure to grab your ricotta cheese to keep the layers together. If you are looking for a healthier alternative, you can use cottage cheese or chevre in your lasagna.
If you want an even richer taste, you can also use cream cheese instead of ricotta as well. Whatever cheese you decide to use, your lasagna will taste amazing for dinner.