One of the best parts of summer is the abundance of local, fresh produce. Whether it’s from your grocery store, farmers market or even your garden, there are so many amazing vegetables that are in season right now that you can enjoy.
Last week, while shopping at my local farmers market, a pile of zucchini caught my eye. It was about a mile high, and the zucchini were enormous – both plump and super long. They instantly inspired me to make a zucchini lasagna.
What’s not to love about lasagna? It’s got cheese, sauce and is so yummy to eat. For me, it’s the ultimate comfort food!
But during the summer, it’s way too carb heavy for my appetite.
So to summer-fy my recipe instead of using pasta, I’d use thinly sliced zucchini as the noodles for my lasagna.
I used a mandolin to slice the zucchini into thin 1/8 inch thick “noodles.”
Using the mandolin is quick, easy and keeps all your zucchini noodles to an equal thickness.
Zucchini tends to be very watery, so I decided to grill them before assembling my lasagna so they slices/noodles wouldn’t disintegrate into a puddle when I’d bake it.
To prep the zucchini for grilling I first laid the slices out on cookie sheets and lightly salted them. I let them sit there for about 10-15 minutes and let the salt draw out some of the vegetable’s water. I used a paper towel to blot the moisture off the zucchini slices right before I grilled the slices.
Then with my six-year-old daughter as my sous chef, she helped to assemble the zucchini lasagna.
My daughter took her role pretty seriously, like an artist putting together a delicious masterpiece.
I think the beautiful glazed stoneware lasagna dish, sent to me by Personal Creations, pretty much says it all – this meal was “Made With Love and Cheese!”
Here’s how I made my Easy No Pasta Zucchini Lasagna:
3 cups fresh (or jarred) tomato sauce
1 tbsp each chopped fresh basil, parsley, oregano
3 to 4 medium/large-sized zucchini, sliced thinly
2 cups ricotta
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 large eggs
16 oz (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
- Rinse zucchini and dry with a paper towel before slicing lengthwise into approximately 1/8″ thick slices.
- Spread zucchini slices out on a cookie sheet and lightly salt and set aside or 10 minutes. After 10-15 minutes, blot the excess moisture with a paper towel.
- Preheat stovetop or gas grill to medium-high and grill sliced zucchini about 2 minutes per side until slightly browned. Place on paper towels to soak up any additional moisture.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a medium bowl mix ricotta cheese, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, eggs, chopped herbs and pepper together. Stir well.
- In a casserole dish spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom and layer the zucchini to cover. Spread 1/2 cup of the ricotta cheese mixture, then top with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all the ingredients are used up.
- Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Let me tell you it tasted just as great as it looked. Even with the cheese and sauce, this is a light dish – loaded with fresh veggies and herbs that truly is a taste of all summer has to offer!
Now it’s your turn to share. What saying would your lasagna dish have on it?
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