How do you thicken ricotta cheese for lasagna? (5 options)

How do you thicken ricotta cheese for lasagna?

There are a few simple techniques to thicken ricotta cheese for lasagne. Here we mention some:

  • Line a fine-mesh strainer or sieve with a bag of milk or with several layers of gauze. Drain the cottage cheese overnight in the colander, with a plate on top of the curd and, if desired, a small can of soup for weight. This will drain out some ricotta buttermilk, leaving it dry and thick.
  • Cooking ricotta in water or milk, with sugar and any additional flavorings you want. Beat two egg yolks for each 3/4 cup of semolina. Cool and mix the ricotta with the sweetened semolina in a ratio of two parts ricotta to one part semolina.
  • Mix cream dough into the sweet stuffed ricotta, using three or four pieces of ricotta to the one-part custard. The proportions can be varied to taste.
  • Cook the flour or cornstarch in a small amount of milk until it becomes a thick paste, then mix this paste well with the ricotta filling. The starch thickens the stuffed ricotta, binding up any excess moisture.
  • Add cream cheese or mascarpone filling. Both are thicker than sweetened cottage cheese and will give the mixture a stiffer texture.

How to make: Lasagna with ricotta

Ricotta lasagna is a beloved classic dish in Italian cuisine because it satisfies everyone. It is very versatile in combinations with sauces and meat sauces that accompany pasta sheets; versions have been created for every occasion.

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!

Main ingredients:

  • White pepper
  • Thyme
  • Nutmeg
  • 30 g Extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g Parmesan cheese for grating

Ingredients for ricotta cream: 

  • 750 g Ricotta
  • 35 g Extra virgin olive oil
  • 75 g hot water
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the cheese sauce:

  • 750 g fresh whole milk
  • 60 g Flour 
  • 75 g Butter
  • 150 g parmesan cheese to grate
  • 50 g grated Pecorino cheese
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt to taste

Preparation of lasagna with ricotta:

  1. To make the ricotta cheese lasagna, start by making the bechamel sauce. Take a saucepan with high edges, melt the butter over medium heat and pour in the flour. Stir with hand beaters until you get a golden-colored roux.
  1. Then pour in the slightly warmed milk. Season with salt and pepper and grate a little nutmeg. Continue cooking over low heat for another 5-6 minutes to thicken, stirring with hand beaters to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  1. Now pour in the Parmesan cheese and the grated Pecorino cheese. Transfer the cheesy béchamel to a large bowl and cover with food-grade clear contact film to prevent crusting on the surface.
  1. Reserve and proceed to the preparation of the ricotta cream. Pour the ricotta in a bowl and sprinkle a drizzle of oil and dilute with hot water to make it creamy.
  1. Add the mixture to the béchamel sauce prepared previously and mix well with the hand mixers to obtain a homogeneous and fairly compact mixture, neither too liquid nor too thick.
  1. Start making the lasagna: take a 30 × 20 cm baking dish. Sprinkle with a drizzle of oil and pour a few tablespoons of the ricotta cream and the béchamel sauce to corrupt the bottom.
  1. Place the pasta sheets until they cover the entire surface of the baking dish. Then create another layer with the ricotta cream and bechamel sauce. Place a few thyme leaves on the entire surface of the baking sheet, but well-spaced, and sprinkle a little ground pepper.
  1. Grate a little nutmeg. Create another layer of lasagna by laying them opposite the first layer so that they intersect. Repeat the operation alternating the ingredients until you get 6 layers of lasagna, finishing with the last layer of ricotta cream and bechamel.
  1. Sprinkle with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese, re-season with thyme leaves, and ground pepper and nutmeg. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for 20 minutes (if you use the ventilated oven at 180 ° C for 10 minutes).
  1. Finish cooking on grill mode for the last 2 minutes to create a light crust on the surface. Take your ricotta lasagna out of the oven and let it cool 5-6 minutes before serving and… enjoy!

Other FAQs about Lasagna which you may be interested in.

How many layers should a lasagna have?

How do you spread ricotta cheese to lasagna?

How do you stop the cheese from burning in Lasagna?

Final tips

If you notice that the ricotta béchamel cream is too dry and therefore difficult to spread in the baking dish, add a little milk. If you like strong flavors, try using sheep’s milk ricotta instead of cow milk’s ricotta!

If you follow our tips, you will easily be able to thicken ricotta cheese for lasagna. Another tip is to mix it with egg yolk. The egg added to the ricotta holds together the mixture and guarantees a better taste. You can use only the whites and it will still be bound but with less fat. You can use just the yolk, and it will come together with the ricotta cheese and be more decadent and creamier. 

If you try the recipe, please let us know how it went and if you like it!