Botticelli's lasagna – Italian Recipe
I humbly believe this is the best recipe I have created. I have been making this for more than 35 years and keep trying to make it better all the time. I usually serve it for the holidays and the smell of lasagna baking in the oven has become as much a part of the holidays as Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey’s are in other homes. One caution about my lasagna – although you should use fresh noodles, let them dry overnight and cook them before you add them to the lasagna. If you use them fresh and not cooked, they tend to blend with the other ingredients as I found out the hard way one time. By the way, use setting 4 for the pasta size if you are using a KitchenAid pasta maker attachment unless you like really thin pasta (then use setting 5).
Ingredients (serves 12 – the proportions I give below are for two large baking dishes of lasagna using all of Botticelli’s rich tomato sauce. If you want only one dish, cut everything in half including the sauce.):
- Botticelli’s rich Italian tomato sauce as called for in the recipe (don’t forget to serve the sausage as a side dish)
- 2 24-ounce containers – cottage cheese, small curd
- 4 – eggs
- 4 pounds – mozzarella cheese, grated
- 16 ounces – fresh parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 pounds – fresh lasagna noodles
Prepare Botticelli’s rich Italian tomato sauce. Remember that you will be making two baking dishes of lasagna so make sure that you split everything evenly between the two dishes. We like to make one dish for our family and freeze the other for a later date. Both my baking dishes measure 11 x 15 x 3 inches. I actually prepare one dish and start that cooking while I am preparing the second dish. This requires you to prepare half the ingredients for the first dish and the rest for the second dish.
Mix the cottage cheese and eggs together in a large bowl.
The eggs and cottage for one baking dish.
Cook the lasagna noodles in salted water as described in the recipe.
Preparation of lasagna noodles.
From left to right: cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella, parmesan, and tomato sauce with one layer of noodles in the baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with tomato sauce. Place one layer of noodles on top of the sauce and then cover the noodles with sauce. Spoon dollops of cottage cheese along three rows in the dish (see photo). Spread about two handfuls of mozzarella and one handful of parmesan over the top.
Dollops of cottage cheese mixture along three rows with the parmesan and mozzarella cheese spread over the top.
Lay another layer of noodles and repeat until all of the ingredients are used. I usually like to put a little more cheese on top than I do in the layers.
Lasagna dish ready for baking.
Bake for one hour and then let cool for 10 minutes before you cut it into servings. Perfecto!