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Lasagna cheese?

Someone Italian please help me out here!

I was Italy last month and had a taste of what I now know to be true lasagna. In place of the usual ricotta was a kind of cheese that had a soft, light, creamy consistency. I'd been told that it might have been provola, but when I went to my local Italian market today the lady behind the counter gave me a puzzled look. Other than ricotta, the only other cheeses used are mozzarella and parmesan. So I took her advice and stuffed my lasagna generously with mozzarella. It turned out okay....but just like a cheese pizza it got me using my jaw much more than I hoped. Now I'm really starting to miss Italy. What was that mysterous cheese which practically melted in my mouth?

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  1. Are you sure they just didn't use fresh ricotta? That's what I use when I can get it and it is worlds apart from the stuff you get at the supermarket.

    1. Probably a parmesan-flavored bechamel. More commonly used in Italy than a lot of cheese.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MakingSense

        That's right. Bechamel, if we're to take Marcella Hazan's word for it, along with a sprinkling of parmigianno, is the thing to make lasagna with--at least in the north. I like mozzerella and ricotta, though, too. You may try draining supermarket ricotta to get the right consistency...

      2. hmm...I really don't know. If it helps, here's a picture http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/73...

        I think I just need to go around Los Angeles trying different lasagnas. Once I find the right one I'll ask them.

        1. I use a mixture of cottage cheese and fresh ricotta.

          1 Reply
          1. Maybe they used impastata cheese, which is often used for stuffed pasta.

            1. Italian lasagna has no ricotta in it, just parmesan and mozzarella. As already stated, the white stuff in the middle is bechamel sauce.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cheryl_h

                And the mozzarella is whole milk. You shouldn't be working your jaw on lasagna.

              2. I'd second Ellen -- the fresh ricotta I had in Italy was so much creamier than what you can get here.

                1. As others have stated, a light bechamella flavored with parmasean as well as fresh mozzarella.