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Cheesy Delight Without Ricotta

A Cheesy Delight Without Ricotta or Cottage Cheese – No-Fuss Lasagna Extravaganza!

Embark on a journey of layers and flavors with our No Ricotta or Cottage Cheese Lasagna recipe. This twist on the classic Italian favorite retains all the heartiness and richness you love about lasagna while skipping the ricotta and cottage cheese. Whether you’re not a fan of these cheeses or simply looking for a change, this recipe promises a cheesy delight that will leave your taste buds singing. Let’s dive into the world of savory meat sauce, velvety béchamel, and layers of pasta perfection.

Ingredients:

For the Meat Sauce:

  • 1 pound ground beef or a mix of beef and pork
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Béchamel Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Salt, nutmeg, and black pepper to taste

Other Ingredients:

  • Lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Meat Sauce:

  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, sauté until softened.
  • Add ground meat and brown until cooked through. Drain excess fat.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, and black pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

2. Make the Béchamel Sauce:

  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk continuously for 2-3 minutes to create a roux.
  • Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens.
  • Season with salt, nutmeg, and black pepper. Remove from heat.

3. Assemble the Lasagna:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a baking dish, spread a thin layer of meat sauce.
  • Place a layer of cooked lasagna noodles on top of the meat sauce.
  • Spread a layer of béchamel sauce over the noodles, followed by a layer of shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan.
  • Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with a generous layer of cheese on top.

4. Bake to Perfection:

  • Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

5. Let it Rest:

  • Allow the lasagna to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This helps the layers set for a cleaner cut.

6. Garnish and Serve:

  • Garnish with fresh basil or parsley. Slice, serve, and savor the deliciousness!

Cook Notes:

  • Be sure to season each layer adequately to enhance the overall flavor of the lasagna.
  • Feel free to add a touch of red pepper flakes to the meat sauce if you prefer a bit of heat.

Variations:

  1. Vegetarian Twist: Skip the meat and double up on veggies like mushrooms, zucchini, and spinach for a vegetarian version.
  2. Sausage Sensation: Replace or mix the ground beef with Italian sausage for an extra layer of savory goodness.

Keto Version:

Ingredients:

  • Substitute lasagna noodles with thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant.
  • Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour in the béchamel sauce.
  • Use a mix of almond and coconut flour for a keto-friendly noodle alternative.

Instructions:

  1. Follow the same steps for the meat sauce, béchamel sauce, and assembly, using keto-friendly substitutes.

Low-Carb Version:

Ingredients:

  • Substitute lasagna noodles with thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant.
  • Use a low-carb tomato sauce or make your own by blending tomatoes with herbs and spices.

Instructions:

  1. Follow the same steps for the meat sauce, béchamel sauce, and assembly, using low-carb substitutes.

Our No Ricotta or Cottage Cheese Lasagna is a testament to the versatility of this classic dish. By skipping traditional cheeses, we’ve created a rich and satisfying alternative that remains true to the heart of lasagna. Whether you opt for the classic, keto, or low-carb version, this recipe promises layers of comfort and flavor that will have everyone coming back for more. So, gather around the table, slice into this cheesy masterpiece, and enjoy the delicious simplicity of a lasagna that’s all about hearty goodness!

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