Yea, I know...I know! This is another one of "those recipes". One of these that you think may not work, and you have a skeptical look on your face. Trust me, I know all about this. It's the exact same look as when I brought my first batch of this I took over to Fawn and Matt's. Until they tasted it.
Doesn't that pan of bubbly goodness look tasty though? And I wonder why I don't lose weight even after I spend an hour a day at the gym...That is another story, though!
I'm not going to say this recipe is gluten free, because I haven't really cooked gluten free, so I can't guarantee things like tomato sauce and pepperoni are gluten free. But, this is an amazing alternative to lasagna, and doesn't contain pasta of any sort.
I got the idea of this recipe from that old cookbook of my mom's. You know the one - one that you bought from someone in school that was created for a fundraiser. There are some good cooks around here! And, once I saw the title, I knew I had to try it. With my own spin, of course. I'm beginning to think there is something magical about that book.
I also made some individual spudzana's. This one is a picture so you can see the layers. Yea, it is cold, but it reheats very well! I just wanted to show the layers, and that is a tough thing to do in a hot dish when the cheese is all melty.
I did want to talk a little about the meat sauce I used in this. I used extra lean ground beef, and I'm very confident you could substitute ground turkey or chicken. You could also easily make this a vegetarian dish by using tofu crumbles. It's hard to say how much fat is in the beef I use, but I'm pretty sure it's 95% lean. My brother Brian's butcher doesn't say what % fat is in the ground beef, so I don't know. I do know 1 lb of hamburger yields about 1-2 T. excess fat, if any at all.
I also wanted to talk a bit about the pepperoni. It's great to saute some pepperoni and just add it to tomato sauce. It makes an amazing tomato sauce. If you want to veganize the recipe, you can substitute 1 t. of italian seasoning mix and a few dashes of red pepper flakes. But, this is a lot better with the pepperoni sauce.
And, finally, it's easier to slice the potatoes thinly with a food processor or mandoline, but if you do use a mandoline, please be careful...mine really likes the taste of fingers...
For a printable version of the recipe, click here.
2 medium to large size potatoes, I prefer russets, about 1lb.
Meat sauce (recipe below)
8 oz small curd cottage cheese
1 ½ cups parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
½ t. salt
½ t. pepper
1 T. oil
Preheat oven to 350. Peel potatoes and cut into very thin slices and place in a bowl of very cold water. This takes a bit of the starch off as well as prevents browning while you are assembling the dish.
In another bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, and ½ c. mozzarella cheese. Mix until well combined.
In a deep 9x9” baking pan, place ½ T. oil and brush the bottom and sides. Place one layer of potatoes in pan. Put ½ of the meat sauce on the potatoes, followed by another layer of potatoes, the cottage cheese mixture, more potatoes, the remaining meat sauce, and a final layer of potatoes.
Sprinkle remaining cheese over the final potato layer and drizzle the remaining oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until potatoes are soft and cheese is nicely browned. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.
1 lb lean ground beef
16 oz can tomato sauce
16 oz can diced tomatoes
25 pepperoni slices, finely diced
½ t. pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 T. butter
Heat a large pan over medium heat. Melt butter and sauté onions for 2 minutes until translucent. Remove onions from pan, and saute ground beef until fully cooked. Add pepperoni and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add in onions. Add in remaining ingredients and adjust seasonings to taste, adding more salt, pepper, or Italian seasonings if needed.