Wings and Beads

Wings and Beads
Wear Old It's New Again

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 lb ground beef (or buffalo, elk, deer…)
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1 – 14 oz can of tomato sauce
1 – 14 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes (partially drained)
4-6 medium mushrooms sliced (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar or honey (optional)
Spices (choose your own preferred flavors):
-2 tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley finely chopped
-1 tablespoons fresh oregano chopped (or 1.5 tsp dried)
-2 teaspoons fresh basil chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
-1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
-1/2 teaspoon dried fennel seed (optional, my Italian sausage usually has plenty)
1.5 – 2 lbs of zucchini squash (sliced and peeled nets about 1-1.5 lbs total)
2 eggs
1/4 cup of grated parmesan (romano or parmigiana reggiano)
16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
16 ounces low moisture mozzarella grated
Brown Italian sausage and ground meat on medium to medium high heat. Drain if needed. To the meat mixture add diced onions and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Add in garlic, stir for 30 seconds. Incorporate tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, salt, and Italian seasonings with meat. Reduce heat and allow to simmer stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.

Mince any fresh herbs you might be using. My herb garden is producing so I used quite a variety, but do not feel like you have to buy fresh just for this dish. Because your sausage may have more flavor then others, chop extra and adjust if needed after you taste the sauce later in the process.

Once the meat is thoroughly cooked and the onions softened a bit, add in your garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add in your herbs and seasonings, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes (and shrooms if you want ‘em). The key to this lasagna is LOW moisture. So if your diced tomatoes have a lot of liquid drain some of this off before adding.
Reduce heat on the pan and allow sauce to simmer and thicken while you finish prep.

Time to make the Pasta.

Slice zucchini into thin horizontal sheets similar to lasagna pasta. Lay out and pat dry on paper towels. Set aside.
Using a mandoline or by hand thinly slice your squash. If by hand, cut zuch in half lengthwise and hold with a flat palm on cutting board while you slide a knife through it back and forth carefully. With the mandoline I usually get them down to about 1/8 inch which works great. By hand they are usually more like 1/4 inch which does fine as well. The more veggie picky the folks you are feeding, the thinner you should go.
I do not peel my zucchini except on the top and bottom slices, but if you prefer, peel the whole shebang.
Since zucchini releases moisture while cooked, I tend to lay it out on paper towels to absorb a bit of the moisture while I prep everything else.Combine ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan and eggs in a bowl until mixed well. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Check meat sauce for flavoring, adjust if necessary (adding sugar to reduce acidity per taste preference). Once the meat sauce liquid has reduced remove from heat and line up all ingredients to assemble the lasagna.

Grate your mozzarella and lay out all your ingredients for easy prep.
In a 13×9 glass baking dish combine a third of each ingredient in layers as follows:
Zucchini slices

Ricotta mixture

Meat sauce


Repeat two more times.
Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly throughout and cheese is dark golden brown. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
There may be extra moisture from the zucchini when you slice it, this is normal and seems to vary by zucchini. You will find that leftovers the next day will be more firm and sometimes even better flavored!

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