Made some lasagna with zucchini slices in lieu of noodles and it was pretty fantastic and here is how I did it!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 2 or 3 or 6 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (or make your own, over achiever). I used an organic tomato basil one. It was $3 and took no preparation time.
- 1 egg
- 1 15-ounce container of Whole Milk ricotta cheese. Unless you’re a pansy who believes the biggest nutritional lie to ever hit the American population that low-fat products are better for you. Then get a low-fat one. I won’t judge you.
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- 4 or 5 cups or something of baby spinach leaves
- 1 pound or so of baby portabellas
- 1 8-ounce bag of shredded mozzarella
- 1 8-ounce bag of one of those Italian blended shredded cheeses. Romano, mozzarella, parmesan, provolone. All in one bag.
- This will take a while. Slice the zucchini into thin slices. Shake some salt onto every slice to draw out the water. Stack them in a colander. Put something heavy over them (I filled a pot with water) so the water gets squeezed out. Leave it to sit for about 30-45 minutes or so while you prepare everything else. If you don’t drain the water from the zucchini, your lasagna will be full of water. It will get everywhere. It will ruin your appetite. It’s gross.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Fahrenheit.
- Make the meat sauce. The garlic, onion, pepper, Italian sausage, and ground beef all get cooked together until the meat is cooked. Don’t drain it. Fat has flavor. Pour in your jar of spaghetti sauce. I know. You can barely even tell there’s tomato sauce in it because it’s so hearty. Don’t add more sauce. It’s going to be thick. It’s sauce, not soup. Welcome to the Sicilian world.
- Chop up the parsley and mix it in with the ricotta and the egg. There’s one filling.
- Chop up the spinach and mushrooms and put them aside. I put them in a food processor and pulsed them. There’s another filling.
- Assembly time:
Half the pasta sauce goes on the bottom of the pan.
First layer of zucchini slices goes on over the sauce.
Spread half the ricotta mix over the slices.
Layer all the spinach/mushroom mix over the ricotta.
Sprinkle half of each cheese over the spinach/mushroom mix.
The rest of the meat sauce goes on now.
Next layer of Zucchini slices.
Remainder of the ricotta.
Remainder of the cheese.
- Cover the whole thing with foil
- Stick it in the oven for 45 minutes. Take it out of the oven and take the foil off. Turn the oven up to 350 and put it back in, without foil. Leave it for 15 minutes. Then turn that broiler onto high for a few minutes and watch the cheese bubble up and get all crispy and brown and delicious. It’s mesmerizing. Don’t overdo it though. Take that out of the oven when you feel the cheese is good enough. Use oven mitts.
- This is really important. Let the lasagna cool off for like 20-30 minutes. I don’t care how well you drained that zucchini. There’s gonna be a lot of water. Let it sit and all those veggies will absorb the water while it cools, so I hope you didn’t leave out the veggies because, cry me a river, you don’t like mushrooms.
- Cut it up and eat it. :)