Tuesday, February 27, 2007

By Popular Demand ...

... here is the Zucchini Lasagna that some of you requested.

It's quite a bit of work to slice and dry the zucchini, but it's worth it because this is a really good recipe. Really good. It seems that everybody who tries it loves it. I slice the zucchini with a knife because I can't seem to get the cheese slicer thing going for me.


3 large zucchini, washed but not peeled
2 teaspoons of salt, or less, as needed
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon fennels seeds
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (26 oz) jar marinara sauce (3 cups)
nonstick spray
1 1/2 cups fat-free ricotta
4 oz shredded fat-free mozzarella
1/4 cup pasteurized egg substitute
1 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Slice zucchini into long 1/4" thick strips with cheese plane. Dry zucchini by laying on paper towels and sprinkling both sides with salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, turning once as they sweat out moisture.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in saucepan set over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Add red pepper and fennel and cook for 30 seconds. Crumble in ground beef; stir and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce, bring to simmer, cover, reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10 ,minutes.

3. Preheat over to 350F. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick spray.

4. Thoroughly combine ricotta, mozzarella, egg substitute, and nutmeg in large bowl and set aside.

5. Use fresh paper towels to wipe salt and moisture from zucchini strips. Gently squeeze the strips between fresh paper towels to remove any excess moisture, but take care not to crush or tear them.

6. Build lasagna by sprinkling the bottom of the prepared baking dish with 1 teaspoon bread crumbs. Lay 1/3 of zucchini slices in bottom of pan, overlapping as necessary. Spoon 1/3 of red sauce over them, then spread 1/2 cheese mixture over sauce. Sprinkle with 1 tsp bread crumbs, then layer 1/2 remaining zucchini. Spoon 1/2 remaining sauce over them, then spread the rest of the cheese mixture over top. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp of bread crumbs. Finish with remaining zucchini slices and sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

7. Bake until bubbling and quite hot, about 50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


Bonita said...

Thanks, AC! I can hardly wait to use this recipe. It makes my mouth water just reading it.

Lynn said...

Sounds delicious. I wish I were that ambitious.

Maria said...

That is me laughing like a madwoman. Does it come in a microwave version? Consider what we had for dinner tonight: takeout citrus chicken soup and rolls from a lithuanian take out joint.

Cathy said...

This sounds so delicious that I'm tempted to try it. Do you think it would taste OK with that rotisserie chicken instead of beef? Probably not as good? Hmmmm. I appreciate the tip about knife slicing. So many recipes hang me up when I get to some point where the instructions and my intentions part company.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Thanks for the recipe. I am always looking for ways to use the summer courgettes which I ususal grow in overwelming quantities. I shall file it away until August.

Pam said...

Oh boy, oh boy, can't wait to try this! I love zucchini parmesean, so this must be fantastic. My husband does all the cooking now and was looking for a new and delicious dish. thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am not much of a cook but there is no way I can pass up a good recipe that involves zucchini. :-)

Turtle Guy said...

Chef de Jour, you rock! Zuchs grow REALLY well in Calgary with the exception of requiring a LOT of water. Nevertheless, you've promted me to consider next season's gardening endeavour.

Linda said...

Thanks for the recipe. I shall try it as soon as I can get some large zucchinis (which may not be for a couple of months).

ChrisB said...

I love lasagne and am definitely giving this recipe a try thank you

J said...

I'm not a HUGE zucc fan, but I'm game. I'll try it. Maybe it's fabulous!