You will notice that this isn’t the only Zucchini recipe that I’ve highlighted – and for good reason. They are delicious, full of flavor and very versatile. If you want to know the history of Zucchini and other names for it in other parts of the world, check out my other recipes and you will find it. Zucchini has an Italian heritage, so it’s fitting to use it in a classic dish such as this.
Here it goes. And thanks to Vered at healthyrecipeblogs.com. Check out her blog sometime, especially if you are interested in low carb, or just eating tasty and healthy dishes. Lol, sometimes I just like reading the recipes… She also has some videos as well.
5 Fresh zucchinis
Olive Oil cooking spray (the nonstick stuff, but use the olive oil one; hey, this is Italian).
1-½ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Garlic Powder
1 lb Ground Beef, Lean (85/15 should work – (I actually used 80/20 cuz I like it)
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
Marinara Sauce (try the sugar free brands)
15 oz Ricotta Cheese, whole – at room temperature
½ cup chopped Basil, fresh (I bought a fresh basil bag that was an actual plant! So good)
8 oz Shredded Mozzarella cheese, or provolone, or Italian cheese mix (this is what I used)
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C / gas mark 4).
Preparing the zucchini-
The lasagna will be watery if we don’t cook the zucchini before layering the lasagna. We need to either grill the 5 zucchinis or bake them. So, slice them lengthwise, about ¼ inch thick (6 mm). Leave the skin on so the green really shines. Fire up the grill and set to medium heat (If using the oven, cook at 500 F for 5 minutes per side). Spray them will the cooking spray and sprinkle them with the ½ tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and garlic powder. Grill on each side until just golden brown – probably 2-3 minutes per side. Then put them on a clean towel so that the towel soaks up any free moisture.
Preparing the beef-
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and coat the pan. Add the ground beef and the minced garlic, ½ tsp of kosher salt and ¼ tsp of black pepper (I use more pepper cuz I like it). Cook and stir the mixture, breaking up the meat (wooden spoon works well). This will take about 5 minutes, we just want it cooked until it’s no longer raw – it’ll cook more later. Drain off the rendered fat, return the beef to the pan and add 1 cup of the marinara sauce. Mix and set aside. (Don’t forget to turn off the heat).
Preparing the ricotta-
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, basil, ½ tsp kosher salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper – mix with a fork is fine.
Building the Lasagna-
Now for the payoff.
1. Spread the remaining ⅓ cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish. You can also use a slightly smaller baking dish such as a dish that measures 11 X 7 inches.
2. Top the marinara sauce with a layer of zucchini, then a third of the ricotta mixture, a third of the meat mixture, and a third of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
3. Repeat, arranging the zucchini slices in the opposite direction: zucchini, ⅓ ricotta, ⅓ meat mixture, ⅓ mozzarella.
4. Repeat one last time, adding one extra layer of zucchini: zucchini, ricotta, meat mixture, more zucchini, and mozzarella.
Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is golden, about 30 minutes. You can finish by broiling for 1-2 minutes on high to brown the cheese, if you wish and if your dish is broiler-safe. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe and picture from healthyrecipeblogs.com