Cook and smash potatoes with a fork and place in bottom of a greased (Pam) 9 x 9 baking casserole dish. Spread cottage cheese or ricotta cheese on top of potatoes if desired.
Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces and fry in skillet until crisp. Remove from pan with slotted spoon. Leave small amount (1 TBLS) of drippings in skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to drippings.
In fry pan with drippings and butter, saute chopped onion. Add cabbage and saute until translucent. Add bacon and mix into cabbage. Layer on top of potato mixture. Salt and pepper casserole. Add optional ham if you choose a meatier dish.
Melt butter in skillet. (May use same skillet as used for cabbage.) Add flour and saute for about 2 minutes until blended and bubbly. Add milk and saute until thickened. (about 3 minutes) Pour over casserole and use knife or fork to make slits in the casserole so the sauce seeps into the dish.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350. Remove foil and finish baking for another 10-15 minutes, until bubbly.