Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Zucchini Lasagna

We planted a vegetable garden in late April and everything is growing like gangbusters right now - especially the zucchini. I thought we just had a bunch of smallish ones coming in, but then my husband went out and found this monster hiding under one of the large leaves:
I knew right away that I wanted to try making lasagna with it. Last fall, I tried using ribbons of squash and zucchini in place of pasta and loved it. But the zucchini in the stores here are little things - only about an inch wide, which definitely isn't big enough to make into lasagna strips. Fortunately, this "forgotten monster" was perfect!

I cut it in half and then cut the other end off so I could balance the zucchini on the cutting board. Then I sliced it lengthwise into as thin slices as possible. (A mandolin would've been handy, but I don't have one - so I can assure a good knife works just fine.)
To help get the excess moisture out, I laid the spread out the zucchini strips on oiled baking sheets in a single layer and baked at 350°F for 15 minutes.

Then I let them cool while I prepped my other ingredients. From there, I used them just like you would lasagna sheets made from pasta.

The results were delicious! It was like a lighter version of pasta lasagna, with the zucchini providing the right structure and texture, but not leaving you overly full. (It's also gluten-free!)

Give it a try with your favorite lasagna recipe or check out mine below.

Zucchini Lasagna (printable recipe)
(Serves 4-6)

1 large or 2 medium zucchinis, sliced into thin strips and roasted
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 links Italian turkey sausage
1 28 oz. can tomato puree
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and cook just until fragrant. Add turkey sausage. Cook until no longer pink, breaking into smaller chunks as you go.
Add tomato puree and diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Add chopped basil, 2 Tbsp. parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg, grated Parmesan and remaining 2 Tbsp. parsley.
Spoon about 1/2 c. of sauce mixture into the bottom of a 7" x 11" casserole dish. Cover the sauce with 1/3 of roasted zucchini slices, creating a single, mostly solid layer. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture on top. Sprinkle with 1/3 c. mozzarella. Spoon 1/3 remaining sauce over top. Repeat zucchini, ricotta, mozzarella and sauce layer. Top with remaining zucchini. Pour remaining sauce on top, then sprinkle remaining mozzarella over that.
Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is fully melted.
Let cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


David Macaulay said...

oh my gourd - that is amazing. As you say the ones in the stores are about a third of the size.

Shut Up & Cook said...

Brilliant! I never know what to do with all the lasagne people bestow upon me...this would be perfect!

"Prof. Kitty" said...

This looks amazing (and smaht way to use up those monsters)--thanks for the recipe!

Shari TheSaucyGourmet said...

wow, this looks so good!!!

N.D. said...

great idea!!!