Weather: blue trying to peek through the clouds
What I’m listening to: the sounds of a chicken coop being built outside
Have you ever tried replacing lasagna noodles with zucchini? It’s marvelous – a lighter, more summery version of the Italian classic. The texture of the zucchini works nicely as the foundation for the ricotta, cheese, and sauce. And the flavors are lovely. I made this small batch just to try it out and it really works.
What I did is season the zucchini slices with salt and pepper and grill on each side on an oiled stovetop grill pan. Then, I patted the zucchini dry with paper towels to prevent excess water from baking into the lasagna.
If you have a lasagna recipe that you really love, feel free to try this method with your favorite recipe. Or, you can try this simple but very tasty version!
Grilled Zucchini Lasagna
Yields: 4 servings
- 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced length-wise
- salt and pepper
- For Sauce:
- 1t olive oil
- 1lb italian sausage
- 1/2c onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4t red pepper flakes
- 2 (15oz) cans tomato sauce
- 2t brown sugar
- salt to taste
- For Ricotta Filling:
- 8oz ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1/4c grated parmesan cheese
- 1c mozzarella, shredded
Set a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grease pan with olive oil. Season zucchini slices with salt and pepper. Grill zucchini in batches, 1-2 minutes per side. Pat dry with paper towels.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown italian sausage. Add onion and garlic, cooking until onion is translucent. Add red pepper flakes. Pour tomato sauce over meat mixture and stir in brown sugar. Season with salt to taste, reduce heat, and allow to simmer on the stove.
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x9 baking pan.
In a bowl, mix together ricotta, egg, and parmesan. Set aside.
Lay a single layer of zucchini on the bottom of baking pan. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over zucchini. Then, ladle a thin layer of the meat sauce over the ricotta. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Repeat - zucchini, ricotta, sauce, mozzarella (I had some sauce leftover).
Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and golden. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before slicing. Use a sharp knife to slice.