Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano!!! Making and enjoying lasagna is a family tradition for me. I can remember my grandmother making her ‘famous’ lasagna. Her lasagna as well as my mom’s is one of the many, many reasons I love cooking and being in the kitchen making food for friends and family.
My grandmothers’ lasagna was always picture perfect…but she never followed a recipe or measured anything because…well, that’s not what she did.
She, being 100% Italian, always said oh a handful of this and a pinch of that and of course you must always taste it before you serve anything to guests. That is just what she did.
Her lasagna had the ooey, goey layers of ricotta and mozzarella cheese oozing out from every side with tiny meatballs placed strategically on top of the layers. With it seasoned to perfection. She had an eye and taste buds like no other! I wish now she was able to try some of the food I have made, to see her reaction, but most of all I would love her input and suggestions.
Now, that she is gone I wish on many occasions for her insight or reasoning as to why she did the things she did in cooking and of course to get her take on life in general. Gosh, how I miss her.
Even now I can see her preparing a feast for everyone when all she was going to do was make a snack. One thing was certain you never left her house hungry and you must at least try it before you got up from the table.
She was a beautiful soul and I am trying to pass on some of those memories through her style of cooking. There truly is never a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and wonder what she would have to say.
I find myself following in her footsteps tasting something and going home to try and make it but never really following any recipes. I can’t help but smile and think of her.
Making lasagna now and adjusting some of the ingredients due to intolerances, I have found that making gluten free lasagna with cottage cheese is still very similar if not the same as regular lasagna, but now my stomach no longer is in knots for the next 72 hours. The consistency, the flavor, and the look is all the same, minus the hand rolled mini meatballs! I think my grandmother would have liked my version maybe just as much!
Here’s to holding on to family traditions and honoring those who have passed before us. They may be gone but never forgotten. Holding on to Sunday family dinners is still a very big deal and I like to think in these moments my grandmother is right there with us proud of her legacy living on through my family and I as well as carrying on some amazing recipes!
Love you always and forever, Grandma (1912-2013)
your youngest grandchild
- 1 lb. of lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- Olive Oil
- 1 can of diced Tomatoes
- 1 container of cottage cheese
- 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tsp oregano, parsley, basil
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- Chop onions and garlic and cook until translucent add ground beef and cook thoroughly
- Add tomatoes and seasoning and stir.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, egg, salt and pepper, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Add additional salt and pepper and dry seasoning, (oregano, parsley, and basil)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Now to the layering. With a ladle or a 1 cup scoop, scoop the meat and tomato mixture into a 13×9 glass dish. Next, place your layer of uncooked lasagna noodles and then a layer of the cottage cheese/cheese mixture and spread it out over the lasagna noodles. Repeat as many layers until meat mixture and cheese mixture is gone.
- I then usually add a little layer of shredded mozzarella and parmesean cheese on the top sprinkle with salt and pepper and the dry basil, oregena, and parsley.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
- Remove from oven and done!