I *think* the reason for alternating the direction of the pasta is so that it holds up better when plated. Not completely sure on that as the reason to do it, but I was taught by Italian cooks to alternate the direction of the pasta. I’ve dope so ever since…blindly, I guess.
I also stated that the wetter lasagnas (which also tend to fall apart on the plate) taste better, IMO. So, a great lasagna doesn’t always make a good food pic. So, I have no doubt your seemingly unpretty lasagna, tasted marvelous. That seems to be the nature of casseroles. The messy ones just taste better.
Lee- of course the taste will change with the use of any amount of cottage cheese, but that’s expected whenever one changes or adds in any ingredient. My point, was that cottage cheese "can" be a good addition (I don’t believe I ever said to use it as a replacement). Same is true for peas, asparagas, artichokes, spinach, etc. They all change the taste of lasagne creating variations. The reason I spoke about Italy and traditional recipes was because you said it was a "no-no" which suggested more than just that you didn’t care for the taste.