Fabulous Zucchini Lasagna
Now that fall is here we like to have some hot, easy-to-prepare casserole-type dishes. This hunger-satisfying Zucchini Lasagna is a delectable, low-carb meal that’s gluten-free and loaded with vegetables. Honestly, I think you’ll love it so much you won’t even miss the lasagna noodles, or feeling overstuffed.
Approx. Times: Prep 30 minutes Cook 60 Done 1 hour and 10 minutes
Servings: 8-10 portions
3-4 large zucchini (approx. 7-8” long, too big and they are seedy)
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound hot Italian sausage (I buy links to get 19 ounces and remove casing)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon red pepper
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
6 ounce tomato paste
16 ounce tomato sauce
1/3 cup red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1-1/2 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
15 ounce whole milk ricotta cheese (can use low-fat)
2 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 8-ounce bag fresh spinach leaves
1 8-ounce package fresh mushrooms
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
8 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a deep 9x13 inch baking pan.
2) Slice zucchini lengthwise into thin slices, about 1/8”, it helps to have a mandoline, if you don’t you will need the 4 zucchini unless you have a sharp knife and steady hand. Sprinkle slices lightly with salt; set aside to drain in a colander. If your slices are thick you will need to increase cooking time.
3) In a large skillet, place a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan and add the spinach and cook over low-medium heat until it starts to wilt. Remove and set aside for step 6 and you can use the same skillet for step 4.
4) To prepare the meat sauce, cook and stir sausage and black pepper in a large skillet over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add in green pepper and onion; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste, tomato sauce, wine, basil, and oregano. Add a small amount of hot water if the sauce is too thick. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
5) Meanwhile, stir ricotta, egg, and parsley together in a bowl until well combined.
6) To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the meat sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then layer 1/2 the zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, all of the spinach, followed by all of the mushrooms, then 1/2 the mozzarella cheese. Repeat by layering the remaining meat sauce, zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, and mozzarella. Spread parmesan cheese evenly over the top; cover with foil.
7) Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil; raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.