This lasagna combines sausage, smoked mozzarella, and from-scratch tomato sauce for the best lasagna recipe without using ricotta cheese.
My mom is Italian and I have always thought of myself as a pretty good Italian cook. When I was first married I made tons of lasagna, ravioli, and other filled pasta.. But one day, my husband informed me that actually he doesn’t like ricotta cheese. I was appalled. It still doesn’t really make sense to me, because I don’t think ricotta has that much flavor.
But he hates it, and asked me to make a lasagna recipe without it. I tried substituting sour cream, and that was okay, but the best option was actually cottage cheese.
I use half smoked mozzarella and half plain, but if you can’t find smoked or don’t like, using all plain is great too. Look for one made with whole milk.
Also, I used to go through the whole charade of boiling classic lasagna noodles, and one day I tried the no-bake kind and I actually think they are way better! So don’t be afraid of that shortcut.
To complete the meal:
- A loaf of soft Italian bread with sesame seeds is perfect with any Italian dish.
- Add a salad and you’re done!
Here’s the recipe!
The Best Lasagna without Ricotta
For the sauce:
- 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage casings remove
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
To make the lasagna:
- 12 no-bake lasagna noodles
- 1 15 ounce container whole milk cottage cheese
- 1 cup smoked mozzarella shredded
- 1 cup whole milk mozzarella shredded
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Cook the ground beef and sausage and in a large skillet over medium heat. Transfer to large bowl and pour out excess grease.
- In the same pan, heat the olive oil and cook the onion until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, and return the cooked meat to the sauce. Simmer 15 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Combine cottage cheese and 1/2 cup of each type of mozzarella in a medium bowl. Mix in the egg and 1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 13 x 9 pan with olive oil. Layer 1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom, 1/4 of a cup of the cheese, 1 tablespoon of the parmesan, and 3 lasagna noodles. Repeat 3 more times. Sprinkle the top with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella and the remaining tablespoon of parmesan cheese.
- Cover tightly and bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake 15 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving, and serve immediately.