In this article, we will answer the following question: Is lasagna better with ricotta or cottage cheese? We discuss the differences between ricotta and cottage cheese, and their use in the kitchen.
Is lasagna better with ricotta or cottage cheese?
Whether lasagna is better with ricotta or cottage cheese depends on personal preferences. I prefer to use cottage cheese. It doesn’t cost as much as ricotta, but the flavor is very similar. Usually, I use a combination of the two. But it’s best to put it in a fine-mesh strainer in the refrigerator the night before to drain the extra liquid.
It is becoming more and more common to find ricotta cheese or cottage cheese among the ingredients of a recipe. Do you really know what the differences are between one and the other? Do you know how they are made?
We call Ricotta or Cottage cheese, a type of grainy cheese that is made with the whey obtained from the production of other cheeses and that is consumed fresh, without pressing, salting, or maturing. White in color, its texture is soft and grainy. Its flavor is extremely mild, making it the perfect cheese for making desserts.
Differences between Ricotta and cottage cheese
Generally speaking, when we talk about Ricotta cheese or cottage cheese, we are talking about the same type of cheese. Perhaps we can say that Italian Ricotta is a little less moist than our cottage cheese, but the truth is that with both terms we will be referring to the same thing. In the US, Cottage cheese is made from goat, sheep, or cow milk. However, in Italy, Ricotta is also produced with buffalo milk.
Sicilian origin of Ricotta cheese
Ricotta is a dairy product of Italian origin that owes its name to the Latin term “recocta”, which means overcooked. It is believed that the Italian Ricotta appeared in Rome or Sicily, with the Jews, although in some documents of the Greek author Athenaeus, this type of cheese is already named, between the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. Not only Ricotta but all cheeses have historically been an important export product in Sicily, along with wheat.
For the Christians of Sicily, the ricotta has been the protagonist in their traditional religious sweets such as the Cassata cake (traditional Paschal dessert) or the Zeppole, for Saint Joseph’s Day. Currently, Ricotta is made in the regions of Lazio, Sicily, Sardinia, Calabria, Piedmont, Venice, and Lombardy.
Its preparation is slightly different depending on the region that makes it. For its part, the origin of the Cottage cheese can be found in the north of Catalonia (brossat) and even in Eastern European countries such as Ukraine.
The benefits of cottage cheese
Sometimes we get to confuse cottage cheese with ricotta, but they are not the same, since the former is the result of processing for the second time the whey leftover from making the cheese, and cooking it at a temperature of 90 degrees with lactic acid bacteria that give as a result a balanced and healthy product.
Being a dairy product that does not need maturation, like some types of cheeses, the percentage of water it contains is high (it reaches up to 80%), for this reason, the fat content it has is low and it only provides 4 grams per 100 of food.
The contribution of vitamins offered by cottage cheese is also important, as it is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A and B complex that help strengthen bones, reduce the risk of developing kidney stones, and lower blood sugar levels.
It is a good food to prevent the risk of cancer because a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that, in the case of premenopausal women, those who regularly consumed low-fat dairy products reduced the risk of cancer breast.
Vitamins found in cottage cheese such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid help the brain function properly and convert carbohydrates into energy.
Cottage cheese is a good source of magnesium that activates the body’s enzymes, maintains the functioning of muscles and nerves. In addition, it helps maintain blood sugar levels, prevents heart attacks, constipation, and psychiatric disorders, and migraine.
As if that weren’t enough, a 2012 study showed that moderate consumption of cottage cheese along with other fruits and vegetables is effective in achieving and maintaining weight loss.
The bottom line
Whether you should use ricotta or cottage cheese for your lasagna recipe is up to you. The main ingredient in this lasagna is ricotta or cottage cheese, which should be fresh and creamy. Its delicate flavor goes perfectly with the bechamel sauce, here enriched by the mixture of cheeses.
Layer after layer in an exquisite alternation of pasta sheets with cottage cheese and béchamel, this delicious lasagna will win you over! Serve this dish to your family for a delicious Sunday lunch!
If you want to share with us your option, your way of cooking lasagna, we are more than open to discussions!