What is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a lasagna?  Comfort food?  Potlucks?  Grandma?  I personally think about how I never really even liked lasagna until I couldn’t have it anymore.  Well, that is not exactly true.  I can still have it, but finding ricotta cheese in Germany is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Suddenly the thought of not having a ooey gooey cheesy meaty lasagna was heartbreaking and I needed to have lasagna – like yesterday.  I had to improvise, but in the end the ricotta was not missed and I was able to enjoy my new favorite food obsession.

1 400 gram can of chopped tomatoes
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP sugar or honey
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder


200 grams cottage cheese
100 grams sour cream (I used low-fat)
100 grams plain quark (like a very thick greek yogurt)1/2 tsp garlic powder



500 grams ground meat
2 small cooking onions, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup water, or more as needed



WP_20150628_11_40_29_Proadditional ingredients
9 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 125 gram balls fresh mozzarella, shredded

1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs, divided (I used equal amounts of sage, basil, oregano and marjoram)

salt, pepper to taste

WP_20150628_13_04_17_Pro1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl.  Add 3/4 of the chopped herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside to allow the flavors to blend.

2.  Mix the ingredients for the cheese mixture together in a small bowl.  Add the remaining chopped herbs and 1 of the shredded balls of cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to mix.

3.  Place meat, water, onion, dried basil and garlic in a non-stick pan.  Cook until the meat is browned, the water has evaporated and the onions and garlic are very soft.  If the onions need more time to cook, add a bit more water (about a TBSP at a time) to avoid burning the meat.  Drain the fat from the meat and season with salt and pepper.

4.  In a glass baking pan, spread enough sauce in the bottom of the pan to coat it (about a 1/4 of the sauce).  Place three lasagna noodles in the sauce.  Top with cheese mixture and then with the meat.  Add more sauce and then another layer of noodles.  Repeat.

WP_20150628_13_26_29_Pro5.  Top the last layer of noodles with the remaining sauce.  Cover the dish with tin foil and place it in the refridgerator for at least 3 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

6.  When ready to make the lasagna, preheat the oven to 200C/400F.  When the oven is ready, place the lasagne in the oven with the tin foil still covering it.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the edges begin to lightly crisp.

7.  Remove the tin foil and top the lasagna with the remaining shredded cheese.  Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly brown.

8.  Take the lasagna out of the oven and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes to allow it to firm up (for easier cutting).

WP_20150628_16_38_20_Propiep piep piep
guten appetit!


And a few interesting facts about lasagna:

  • July 29 is national lasagna day
  • The term lasagna was not originally a description of the food.  Instead, it was used to describe the pan used for cooking lasagna.
  • Lasagna is considered the oldest form of pasta.

6 thoughts on “lasagna

  1. I love lasagna! Reminds me of my Italian grandparents. They would make the noodles by hand sometimes … yum. I have used cottege cheese instead of ricotta in the past to save $$ and fat content, I think if you season it correctly (like you did!) it’s a great substitute. Great recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s