Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lasagna and the new ricotta

My brother-in-law recently gifted us with a copy of Air Canada's en Route magazine's annual food trends issue. An interesting read and I was tickled to discover that several of BC's best restaurants are on my "I've been there" list. Part of the interest was the discovery that one of the new restaurant trends this year is "house-made ricotta". I found this interesting because on a recent trip to one of our friendly neighbourhood warehouse stores I saw, for the first time ever, a ricotta that didn't come in a tub. Intriguing, even the warehouse stores are getting trendy! This ricotta came shrink wrapped in plastic and looked closer to mozzarella in texture.

Of course the real interest for foodies is - what did I do with this new item? Answer - I made lasagna.

I made the pasta dough, made the meat sauce, and finally cracked the ricotta. I wasn't sure what to expect. Would I be able to slice this new ricotta? Would it mix well with the spinach, egg and cheese or would I have to use it separately?

When I opened it I discovered that it would slice, and dice well enough, but that it also crumbled into a much drier version of the tub ricotta's small pieces. I was able to mix my ricotta/spinach layer easily though I came out with a drier result - not a bad thing from my point of view. I dislike runny lasagna.

After assembly and baking we ended up with a lovely lasagna that was not runny at all. I can not say I noted any flavour difference, but it was nice to created a drier ricotta mix. Thicker sauce and drier ricotta made for a nicely cohesive and stable lasagna. The bit of lemon zest I put into the ricotta mixture though came through beautifully.
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