Creamy Cheese Lasagna

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Creamy Cheese Lasagna: A Recipe That Brings Home Closer
Story and Photos by Michelle Michimani

Being from St. Louis, Missouri, Christopher Repka, sophomore history major, longs to be with his family.

“When I think of lasagna I always think of my mom’s lasagna,” Repka says, as explaining the reason why he decides to make it on a Saturday afternoon.

“St. Mary’s feels like my second home and it just feels right being able to eat a meal that reminds me of my home in Missouri,” he says.

At first, Repka planned to attend culinary school. However, that changed after he participated in a culinary summer program in Arizona and realized the career was not for him.

“At the time, my sister was living in Arizona so I decided to go for the summer, it was just a week long program, but it was so stressful. I thought it would be more free flowing, but it wasn’t an enjoyable environment to work in.”

While it no longer is his career focus he says, “I still enjoy cooking, I love being able to use so many options and make it into a dish.”

This change led him to St. Mary’s as a history major.

“I think history and cooking are in a way similar, in history there is so much to learn which is the same case in cooking,” Repka says.

As he prepares the dish, he shares the countless embarrassing stories of his mom showing off her lasagna whenever she can.

“She will always tell people she makes a great lasagna whenever she can,” he says.

Repka explains how she is a picky eater so it helps make the recipe simple, no extravagant ingredients.

“I know that when I go back home, this is the meal she will have ready for me.”

Repka enjoys various types of foods. “I love Mexican food because it is so different, I love Indian food because of the various spices, I am a food fatty and love everything,” he says.

His love for various foods complicates his cooking on campus. The lack of a stove makes it difficult to cook simple things like meat and rice.

“It not only is a way of being closer to home, but also not needing to have a full scale kitchen,” he says. As an on-campus resident, access to a kitchen is limited.

Repka describes the lasagna recipe as easy and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 jar (26 oz) roasted garlic Parmesan spaghetti sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) 4% cottage cheese
  • 1 carton (8 oz.) French onion dip
  • 1 jar (25.6 oz.) Italian sausage and garlic spaghetti sauce
  • 12 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups (12 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 325° F. In an oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the roasted garlic Parmesan spaghetti sauce. Combine the egg, cottage cheese and onion dip. Spread 1 cup Italian sausage and garlic spaghetti sauce into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with four noodles. Layer with half of the cottage cheese mixture, half of the beef mixture and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noddle’s, sauce and mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 375° F for 50 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Makes 12 servings

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