When I hear the words Italian Lasagna, it reminds me of my
For those food critiques who insist upon the extensive labor of homemade noodles and an herb tomato sauce simmering over the heat for hours to qualify as authentic Italian cooking, I completely understand. I truly appreciate the incredible depth of flavor accomplished through the artful making of homemade ingredients. I have great admiration for those who have the time and technique to create delicious pasta dishes with that level of time and commitment. However, my mother wasn’t one. Not because she didn’t want to, but because her schedule didn’t allow it.
Like many hard-working families today, my mother worked away from the home while raising five kids. She didn’t have the luxury or the energy to make time-consuming recipes after a long hard day’s work. But she wanted her family to eat well so instead of homemade pasta and sauce, she improvised with ingredients readily available at the local grocery store.
Boxed noodles, Ragu spaghetti sauce and Green Giant Mushrooms all played a part in the symphony of flavors that created her famous lasagna. But
The art of lasagna making is not exactly rocket science, but there is a method that matters. This recipe includes three layers starting with noodles on the bottom, a layer of sauce, a layer of cottage cheese, and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Repeat, cover with foil, and bake.
What is dry cottage cheese, you ask? Dry cottage cheese seems to be a thing of the past. You might find it hard to purchase a container of dry cottage cheese at most grocery stores. Yet it is the dry cottage cheese that sets this recipe apart from all other lasagnas. The soft white bits of cheese generously sprinkled between each layer of sauce and noodles creates a pleasantly subtle flavor and texture that takes this lasagna to an entirely new level of deliciousness.
What’s one to do if you can’t find dry cottage cheese at the grocery store? Ricotta or another soft cheese is not a good substitute for this recipe. That style of softer cheese will create a soupy mess on your plate. You can easily create your own dry cottage cheese by placing the cottage cheese in a colander over the sink. Using cool water and your sink sprayer, gently spray off all liquid from the cottage cheese until it leaves only the curds in the colander. That’s it! Now you have dry cottage cheese.
Warm cheesy Italian Lasagna with layers of meat-filled red sauce and tender dry cottage cheese is a refreshing take on this favorite one pan meal. Serve it with your favorite salad and baked garlic bread for a delicious Italian meal.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you’ve made it please share it with me by tagging @culinary.butterfly on Instagram or @culinarybutterfly on Pinterest, or by using the hashtag #culinarybutterfly on Facebook
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