Our first frost is supposed to arrive tonight, so what better way to stay warm and cozy than to heat up the kitchen with a pan of classic lasagna and share it with friends and loved ones?
My friend Jeremy had posted this lasagna recipe on my Recipe List page and I finally had a chance to make it when a few friends got together recently for a baby shower.
Lasagna is a perfect potluck item to bring, and although I love this Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagna, I thought our gathering would be a good opportunity to try out Jeremy’s recipe.
I paused when I saw the recipe called for cottage cheese instead of ricotta, I wasn’t sure I would like the lumpy texture. The same went for “slices” of mozzarella instead of shredded cheese.
But I pressed ahead anyway, and actually beat the cottage cheese and eggs together with a hand mixer for 2 minutes just to break up the clumps a bit.
The end result: One of the creamiest lasagnas I’ve ever eaten! The slices of cheese actually help to hold the individual servings together a bit more and there is just enough meat in each bite. My friends at the baby shower agreed it was delicious, and leftovers the next day feed three hungry runners after a 5 mile loop through the arboretum.
1 pound mild Italian sausage (I actually used non-Italian, it was less spicier and just as good)
For the sauce:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon basil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1-lb. can of crushed tomatoes
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
For the filling:
2 12-ounce containers (3 cups) cottage cheese
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 10-ounce package lasagna noodles
1 lb. sliced mozzarella
In a large saucepan, brown meat thoroughly, drain off excess fat, then add the sauce ingredients (garlic, basil, salt, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste) to meat. Simmer this mixture uncovered until thick (approximately 30 minutes) – stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixture for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook lasagna noodles according to the instructions on the box, then rinse in cold water and lay out on wax paper.
Layer by placing half of the noodles in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish, then spread half of the cottage cheese mixture, place half of the mozzarella cheese, and spread half of the meat mixture. Repeat the layers.
Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.