A while ago I made 227 blintzes for the bar mitzvah of my friend’s twin grandsons. Because I was worried I would run out of cottage cheese, I bought 10 pounds of cottage cheese so I could make the blintzes in one big production line in a single day, and then freeze them for baking the day of the event. At the end, I had five pounds of cottage cheese left. Now I like cottage cheese, eat it for breakfast with fruit, etc. But there is a limited amount one can eat before it goes bad – and it doesn’t freeze well.
I went searching for recipes that would use up cottage cheese. There were a lot of cheesecakes, but I really didn’t want to make a lot of sweets. I found this recipe at Cooking Light. I couldn’t find fat free pasta sauce that they recommended, so I used sauce with 1 gram of fat/serving – but I used non-fat cottage cheese instead of the 1% they recommended and egg substitute instead of an egg.
Lasagna with Prosciutto
2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
1 (16-ounce) carton non-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup grated fresh Romano cheese, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 (26-ounce) bottle fat-free or low-fat tomato-basil pasta sauce
12 cooked lasagna noodles
4 ounces chopped prosciutto or ham
4 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place cottage cheese and garlic in food processor. Process 2 minutes or until smooth. Add cream cheese, 2 tablespoons Romano, basil, pepper, and egg substitute. Process until well-blended.
Spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over the pasta sauce; top with 1 cup cheese mixture, 1/3 cup prosciutto, and 3/4 cup pasta sauce.
Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbly. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let lasagna stand 5 minutes. Makes 9 servings at about 6 grams of fat/serving.
There is an additional story about this lasagna. I made it on the weekend before Thanksgiving, fully intending to eat it for an easy dinner every evening before I left early Wednesday morning for Baltimore and Thanksgiving with my daughter. When I woke up Monday morning, my refrigerator had died an ignominious death in the night. I hastily moved items that were still frozen from the top freezer to the big freezer in my pantry. The refrigerator area itself was reasonably empty because I was going to leave town. I had to get to work, so I just boxed up the refrigerated goodies that could be saved and, because it was very cold out, I tossed them onto the back deck in the snow. I figured I could find a better place for them after I got home from work. I came home grouchy, tired and very hungry – looking forward to a nice hot big piece of lasagna. But the sliding doors to the deck had frozen shut. No amount of rapping, prying, or cursing could get it open. There was glass between me and my lasagna! I was like one of those animals that they train to push a button to move the glass panel to get to its food – only I wasn’t smart enough to move the glass panel. Miserably, I found something else to eat and went to bed. (Actually, I was laughing hysterically at my ridiculous predicament by this time.) I finally got the door open the next day using an electric space heater for several hours – rescued my lasagna and other now frozen goods, tossed it all in the big freezer for better or worse, and headed out of town.