A Fraternal Lasagna

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A Fraternal Lasagna

By Ray Goto

No man tells his wife everything. There are things that she – no matter how loving – just doesn’t need to know.

My own parents have a $50 rule. When Mom wants to know how much Dad’s new putter cost, the answer is always $50.

“How much did it cost to fix that ding in the car?”

“Fifty dollars.”

It keeps the marriage machine running.

You don’t, however, keep secrets from your buddies. You don’t need to spare their feelings or their pocketbook. Truth is the foundation of the fraternity of manhood. So here, for everyone to see, I must confess that I have a secret: I make a mean lasagna.

At 40 a man should be comfortable enough to admit that he can cook. After all, it’s not a communicable disease. The problem is that I’ve been lying to my buddies for too many years.

Just before kickoff, I present my couch-loving, beer-guzzling cohorts with my lasagna saying, “The little wife made another casserole thingy!” They cheer as if the Bulldogs just sacked the quarterback on their own one-yard line, and no one is any worse for wear – including my manhood.

So let the entire truth be told: Lasagna is my signature dish, but my T-shirt is and forever will be the only apron I wear.

Fraternal Meatloaf
Serves: 6 guys or 8 chicks

1 pounds ground chuck
1 pound ground Italian Sausage
½ pound ground veal
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oregano, chopped
3 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
2 (15-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 (5-ounce) package grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
9 box lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
2 (8-ounce) packages shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large saucepan, combine ground chuck, sausage, veal, onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until meat is browned and crumbled; drain.
Return meat to pan and add oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.

In a small mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan, parsley, and eggs.
Spoon 1/4 of sauce into bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan. Place 3 lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Do not overlap noodles. Spread 1/3 of cottage cheese mixture over noodles, top with 1/4 of sauce and 1/3 mozzarella cheese.

Repeat layers, ending with sauce, reserving 1/3 of mozzarella cheese.
Bake 45 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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Reader Comments:


Paula, am so sorry for what you have been going thru! God bless you & remember when God closes one door, He'll open another when we are faithful to Him!

By Anna Dault on July 18, 2013


Hi, can I ask why you use eggs? When the sauce boils whilst baking, don't they curdle?

By Liana on March 02, 2012



By Carla Floyd on February 14, 2012


This is almost my EXACT recipe!! I thought I had perfected it alone. Ricotta may be "more authentic" but it doesn't melt and give the best result. Cottage cheese has been my "secret" ingredient for years -- BRAVO for telling others. TRY IT before you reject it. It is SO MUCH better. I get rave reviews from everyone -- including professional chefs.

By Terry on January 29, 2012


By shelia oxendine on February 02, 2011

Hi Paula:  I wonder if you could make the fonts larger for your recipes. Everything that I have made from your cook book is amazing.  Would love to meet you some day.

Thanks, Linda

By Linda on August 24, 2010

Why is this recipe called “Fraternal Meatloaf”?  Looks like a great recipe for lasagna.

By Patricia Dorwin on June 16, 2010

This looks like a delicious lasagna, but a true Italian lasagna is always made with ricotta cheese, not cottage cheese.  I like your combination of meats for the sauce.  I will definitely try this recipe, but I will use ricotta.

By Linda Diorio on June 15, 2010

Your lasagna recipe is very nearly authentic Italian.  However, no Italian worth his/her salt would use cottage cheese in lasagna, only ricotta!  I especially like your mix of meats in the sauce.  Try it with ricotta once -you’ll never use cottage cheese again.

By Linda Diorio on June 15, 2010

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