My daughter invited us over for my husband’s birthday last Sunday. She made the most delicious zucchini lasagna. Of course, the zucchinis were from the garden! We have so many that we are scrambling around trying to make as many recipes as possible using them. (More zucchini recipes to come!). You would never have known that there were no lasagna noodles in it. My husband had no idea there was no pasta in it, just zucchini slices. We could have let him believe he’d just eaten pasta forever! But we told him, and he had to make sure 3 times because he wouldn’t believe us!
Here is the recipe, straight from my daughter :
Before you start: Make sure you salt and drain your zucchini as directed below at least 2-3 hours before you plan to cook your lasagna. You can save the liquid that drains and add to the water you will use for the sauce.
You will need:
- A glass lasagna dish
- A colander
- A Mandoline Slicer
- A cheese grater
- 3-4 cups Homemade tomato sauce (recipe below)
- 2 large zucchini
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- herbs – oregano, basil and any others you want to add (they all go so well in this)
- 2 cups shredded fresh mozarella cheese (or more if you’re the cheesy type)
- Coarse sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Using a mandoline, slice the washed zucchini into thin strips. Don’t forget to use your safety guard. Manolines are sharp!
- Salt each strip of zucchini to draw the water out. Place in your colander over your sink, so the liquid drains. You can catch the liquid in the container if you like and add to your sauce as directed below. Do this about 2-3 hours before making your lasagna. If you forget, your lasagna will still be delicious, but you will need to drain it.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop your herbs and mix, along with a pinch of sea salt and some fresh ground pepper, with your ricotta cheese.
- Pat your zucchini strips with paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
- Smear a layer of sauce on the bottom of your lasagna pan.
- Add a layer of zucchini strips.
- Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture on the zucchini strips.
- Add another layer of sauce.
- Add a new layer of zucchini strips.
- Cover that new layer with ricotta cheese mixture.
- Pour more sauce over top.
- If you have more of your ingredients, you can repeat this process. Be sure the last layer is zucchini strips, however. This helps the lasagna stay in tact.
- Top with your shredded mozza cheese, and some fresh cracked pepper.
- Cook for about 40 minutes, uncovered at 350 degrees or until the cheese is golden brown.
- Allow the lasagna to cool for 15 minutes. This is so important! Your lasagna will fall apart if you dive into it right away!
- Slice, serve, and fool your family!
Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Baking sheet
- Tin foil
- a sauce pan, or I prefer an enameled cast iron pot or french oven.
- 6-8 juicy, ripe roma tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- two cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- half a yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup of fresh chopped herbs, most importantly basil and oregano – you can use less, but I love my herbs and there is simply no such thing as too much!
- A Bunch of fresh kale, chopped
- 1 can tomato paste
- 4 cups of water (and your zucchini water if you saved it)
- coarse sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- Turn your oven to broil
- Cover your baking sheet with foil and place your washed tomatoes on it
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on them and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper
- Place under your broiler, keeping an eye on them often.
- As the skin on the tomatoes turns brown, turn them over to expose new skin. This happens very quickly under the broiler. Within minutes usually, so be careful of burning.
- When all the skin on all of the tomatoes looks brown or shriveled, (black is also fine if its minimal), remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn your oven off.
- Allow the tomatoes to cool. This can take a while, so I sometimes place them in a bowl in the freezer to speed the process.
- As your tomatoes cool, start to dice your onions, chop your herbs, chop your kale and mince your garlic.
- By the time you’ve finished chopping, your tomatoes should be cool, so pull them from the freezer.
- At this point, the skin on the tomatoes should release easily with just the slightest pulling. Remove all the skin from all of your tomatoes.
- Dice the skinless tomatoes and try to preserve the liquid running off (that is pure flavor!)
- Heat up your enameled pot or saucepan to medium low heat.
- Pour two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the pot.
- When the oil is heated, add your garlic, onions and half your herbs. Heat in the oil until you smell them or they become translucent.
- Add the chopped kale and stir in.
- Add your tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and allow the ingredients to get happy together for a few minutes.
- Pour in your water.
- Mix in your tomato paste with a whisk.
- Season again with salt and pepper – taste it, sometimes adding the tomato paste can make it to sweet. Counter that with a touch of salt, but not too much as the sauce will cook down and saltiness will become more potent.
- Allow the sauce to simmer on low until the tomatoes are sufficiently stewed and don’t hold their shape anymore. If you find your liquid is being lost too fast, cover with a lid. However the liquid must reduce to thicken.
- Remove from heat and add the remaining herbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste!
Have you tried a no-pasta lasagna before? How was it? What did you put in it? Let me know in the comments!