Cheese and Tomato Lasagna
Why This Recipe Works
While removing both meat and vegetables from lasagna makes it a much simpler affair, it can result in a dish lacking in texture, flavor, and stature. This recipe upgrades each of the components—tomato sauce, cheese, and noodles. Tomato paste, minced anchovies, grated Pecorino Romano, and a dash of sugar boosted the complexity and body of the sauce, while a small can of diced tomatoes added texture. We replaced the usual trio of cheeses with more-flavorful alternatives: We swapped ricotta for cottage cheese (mixed into a no-cook sauce with heavy cream, more Pecorino Romano, and seasonings), mozzarella for fontina, and Parmesan for Pecorino Romano. To give the casserole more structure and bite, we used traditional wavy lasagna noodles, but instead of boiling them, we briefly soaked them in boiling water. Staggering the placement of the noodles in the dish instead of lining them up parallel to one another kept the casserole level.