It's a pretty nasty name for an otherwise really great lasagna. The fact is that I have issues with food textures, and one of the worst food textures, in my opinion, is cottage cheese. Can't do it. Mr.WhatsCooking would strongly disagree (he loves cottage cheese, especially in his lasagna), but since I do most of the cooking he gets to eat it my way. Which, naturally, I feel is the better way. This lasagna uses a white sauce instead of the cottage cheese or ricotta I've seen in most lasagnas. I don't think this is an original idea, but I did the substitution on my own one day. I think it tastes great and is very nice to look at. The picture above is of Cooking Disaster #1 -- I had a litre of cream in my fridge that needed used up, so I tried a slightly different white sauce recipe. What ended up happening is that the white sauce bubbled up out of its layer and mixed in with the rest of the lasagna sauce. In the end I had a very nice tasting lasagna with a rose sauce instead of two distinct types of sauces. (And the comment that if I had used ricotta that wouldn't have happened.)
Just a little note before you begin: You can use plain old, regular dried lasagna noodles (the 'boil first' variety) in place of oven-ready lasagna noodles. Don't pre-boil them, just layer like you would the oven-ready type and cook away. We did this way back in my grade 8 home-economics class, long before 'oven-ready' noodles were on the market. You will need to add an extra cup of fluid to your sauce, though, if you are using uncooked noodles. Lasagna. 1 package of lasagna noodles about 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese sprinkle of parmesan lasagna sauce white sauce Sauce: (In-a-hurry sauce - 1 jar favourite pasta sauce, 1 lb ground beef browned with 1 small diced onion. For no-cook noodles, rinse the pasta sauce jar with 1 cup of water or chicken broth, and add to sauce.) 1 lb ground beef, browned with 1 small chopped onion and 1 minced garlic clove 1 can mushrooms, with liquid 1 small can (156mL or 5.5 fl oz) tomato paste 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes 1 14 oz can plain tomato sauce, OR crushed tomatoes, OR chili sauce 1/2 sweet pepper, diced 2 bay leaves 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp. oregano 1 tsp basil 1/2 tsp worchestershire sauce few dashes of hot sauce (like tabasco, optional) 1 cup chopped celery (optional) Brown the beef with the onion and garlic in a large pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes. While this is simmering, make a basic white sauce (bechamel - although according to Mr.WhatsCooking a true Bechamel has milk simmered with an onion studded with cloves. We'll skip that part for now...) White Sauce. 3 tbsp. butter or margarine 2 tbsp. flour 1/2 cup chicken stock (OR 1/2 cup water with one bouillon cube) 1 cup whole milk or light cream 1 cup shredded mozarella cheese Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for about 1 minute, to make a blonde roux. While whisking the roux, add the chicken stock. Whisk well. Slowly add the milk or cream and whisk the entire mixture together. Cook over medium heat, whisking continually, until the sauce starts to thicken (about 3 or 4 minutes). Once the sauce is thicker - it will still be a slightly thin white sauce - remove from the heat and add the mozarella cheese. Whisk and allow the cheese to melt. Lasagna. 1. Heavily butter/margarine the bottom of a 9x13 inch casserol pan. 2. Lay one layer of noodles across the bottom, careful not to overlap the edges. Top with about 2 cups of the lasagna sauce (or about 1/4 of the pot). Here comes an optional part: you can add more mozzarella or marble cheese on top of the sauce, or you can go to the next step. Personally, being cheap, I leave out the cheese. 3. Lay the next layer of noodles over the sauce. Top with more lasagna sauce, about 2 cups or so. 4. More noodles. This time, pour the white sauce over the noodles. If you sauce has gotten very thick while standing, add an extra 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chicken broth or water, poured over the noodles. 5. Noodles then lasagna sauce, until you are almost at the top of your casserole dish. Once at the top, finish with sauce and sprinkle with your shredded cheese. Bake covered for one hour at 350 degrees, until noodles are tender. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown.