I rarely have half a large container of ricotta in my fridge. Stuffed shells and traditional lasagna require a whole one; baked ziti uses 15 ounces, so I buy a 15 ounce container for it. I’ve tried a few new recipes lately, however, and once used 15 ounces when all I had was a 32 ounce container–hence, half a container.
The problem with half a container, of course, is that it’s open. Sealed ricotta can last; open ricotta, not so much. Since I already have baked ziti in my freezer, I went in search of another recipe that used 15 ounces; I ended up with this Simple and Meaty Skillet Lasagna, which called for less. More cheese is always better, right?
Here’s the thing. It was pretty good, especially for how easy it was (my oldest broke the noodles, and I think she had fun); the extra ricotta, however, was too much for me as is. If I had mixed the Parmesan in with it, or added chopped fresh parsley? It would have been another story, I think. As it was, the dollops of straight ricotta were a bit overwhelming. (Using the amount it calls for, mind you, would likely be perfect.) My other issue is a very weird, it’s-not-the-recipe-it’s-me thing–I’m weirdly fond of the dryer pasta at the edges of baked pasta dishes, and the texture of the noodles in this was uniform. I’m guessing this will be a good thing for most of you, but I missed the dryer bits. On the other hand, it’s hard to overstate the appeal of an easy skillet meal; I’ll likely tweak it and try it again. I’ll let you know!