Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
Combine the raisins and the orange juice and set aside to soak. Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
Whisk together the orange zest, eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Add the plumped raisins and up to 1 tablespoon of any remaining juice.
Drain the noodles and return them to the pot. Add the butter in pieces and toss until melted. Add the cottage cheese mixture and stir gently until well combined. Transfer the noodles to the prepared pan.
Bake the kugel until a bit bubbly around the edges, well set, and pretty well browned, 1 hour and 15 minutes. Broil it for 1 or 2 minutes if you like a really crunchy top.
Transfer the kugel to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. It is great warm or at room temperature.