This turned out better than expected. I used ground Italian sausage because I already had some, will try next time with the lean ground beef for less fat and calories. I've never used cottage cheese, but I didn't feel deprived without the ricotta. I think I loaded down the first layer too much because by the time I got to the last layer, I didn't have quite enough, so don't be heavy handed when assembling. Other than that, we all loved it and it didn't take nearly as long as making a traditional lasagna.