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In a large skillet or Dutch oven, saute sausage, onion, and mushroom till onion is transparent. NOTE: Ground beef can be substituted for Italian sausage. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, basil, parsley, salt, sugar, oregano, garlic salt, and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Meanwhile, squeeze out all excess liquid from thawed spinach. In a medium bowl, with a fork, combine spinach, cottage cheese, and a dash of salt. Shred half of the mozzarella cheese. Cut the remaining cheese into strips approx. 1/4" thick and 1/2" wide. Divide both the meat mixture and the spinach mixture into 5 equal portions of each. In a 9" x 13" baking pan, arrange in alternating lengthwise strips: 3 portions of spinach mix, and 2 portions of meat mix, covering the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top of this layer. On top of the cheese layer, arrange alternately in strips: two portions of the spinach mix and 3 portions of the meat mix. (Place spinach rows on top of the bottom-layer meat rows, place meat rows on top of the bottom layer spinach rows.) Place strips of mozzarella on top of the meat mix. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbling hot. The recipe can be cut in half, but use the same amount of mozzarella, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
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