Hubby, PB and I love lasagna. Hubby and I had the most amazing lasagna in Italy a few years ago that I still dream about and one day hope to recreate. I never even thought about using zucchini instead of noodles until we had a truck load in our kitchen waiting to be eaten. Zucchini really made a great substitute for noodles; I was pleasantly surprised. This would be a great option if you are watching your carbs. We like spicy poultry sausage in our lasagna, so I still added that in.
The lasagna was a little watery so I took these pics after it cooled. When I served it up the night I cooked it there was just a big delicious mess on my plate. PB loved this dish. He gobbled it right up! My little secret is that I like to make lasagna in an 8X8 metal pan. Since it is only the 3 of us there is less to be eaten and the 8X8 pan is a little taller so I can squeeze in more layers. More layers is what made the lasagna in Italy more delicious.
Zucchini Lasagna-recipe by me- makes 1 8X8 pan
1 super large zucchini or a bunch of smaller ones
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
meat of your choice, I used about 3/4 pound spicy poultry sausage
15 oz container ricotta cheese
handful parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
handful parsley or basil chopped
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
Using a mandolin or a knife, slice long thin and wide slices of zucchini. trim the really seedy pieces out so it doesn't get too soggy. Sprinkle some salt on the zucchini slices and let sit in a colander to drain. Let drain about 40 minutes.
Set a sauce pan on medium heat. Pour in a few Tbsp olive oil and the smashed garlic and red pepper flakes. Once fragrant add in the whole can of crushed tomatoes, pinch of salt and oregano. Let it come to a bubble and then turn down to low heat and cover.
Brown meat and break up into small pieces.
Mix ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg, parsley (or basil), pepper and about a handful of mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
When zucchini has drained for 40 minutes you are ready to build. Spray an 8X8 pan with cooking spray. Place enough sauce to just cover the bottom of the pan. Layer pan with one level of zucchini. Spread ricotta mixture, sprinkle meat then top with a few dollops of sauce. Layer more zucchini in opposite direction. Repeat and end with zucchini. Top with remaining sauce. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake 10 minutes more.