Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lasagna With Zucchini "Noodles"

I have been meaning to get this recipe posted for almost a week now. Sorry it's taken me so long.

I was worried, while I was making this, that the kids wouldn't eat it. I shouldn't have worried. They all loved it. None of us missed the pasta noodles at all. I used my mandolin to slice the zucchini about 1/8" thick and layered it all just like regular lasagna. Unlike regular lasagna though, I had to use a sharp knife to cut it into pieces rather than just using the spatula. That was the only drawback and really, it's pretty minor.

Lasagna With Zucchini "Noodles"

4 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/8" thick
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 - 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 - 28oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
24oz cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 c fresh basil, minced or 2 Tbsp dried
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In large 12" skillet or dutch oven heat oil over med heat. Add onions add cook 4 minutes or until just beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook 1 min more. Add ground beef to the pan and break up while browning. After 4 minutes, pour in cream and continue cooking until all the liquid has boiled away and just the fat is left. Add salt, pepper and canned tomatoes and stir to combine. Turn heat to med-low and allow flavors to meld while you prepare the cheese filling.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs slightly. Add cottage and Parmesan cheeses, basil, salt and pepper. Stir together thoroughly.

Scoop about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and spread it around. Arrange a layer of zucchini to cover the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/4 of the cheese over the zucchini. Top with 1 1/2 c sauce. Repeat these layers 3 more times, pouring the remaining sauce over the top. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and the zucchini is soft. Remove pan from oven and turn oven to broil. Top lasagna with mozzarella cheese and broil until melted, brown and bubbly.
Allow lasagna to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Variations on the same theme:
 - I am making something similar tonight. It's more of a ratatouille than a lasagna and my husband called it "Ratatouille Lasagna." I didn't use the cheese and used Italian sausage instead of ground beef. I layered zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant with the sauce. I added the basil to the sauce since there was no cheese and baked it all together until it was soft. After serving, we topped it with a little goat cheese for a bit of tang. If you are not opposed to eating bread, a crusty baguette would be wonderful with this. Or maybe some rice.
 - You could leave the meat out of the sauce and serve grilled salmon or chicken with the ratatouille version.

 - You could add more veggies to the lasagna, such as spinach, mushrooms, broccoli or eggplant.

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