Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
The humble zucchini gets a lovely make-over in this beautiful lasagne. It is impressive enough to serve to guests, but easy enough to make for your family on a busy night, as it does not require you to pre-boil your lasagne noodles. I keep one in my freezer "just in case". It makes a filling supper when coupled with a salad - the meat-eaters in your life won't even notice it's vegetarian!
- 1 lb curly lasagna noodle
- 3 medium zucchini, juilenned (I use the food processor)
- 1 carrot, finely grated (optional)
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons dried basil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 16 ounces skim milk ricotta cheese (I often make my own fresh farmer's cheese and substitute that)
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 cups tomato sauce (canned will work, I make my own)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare vegetables if you have not done so already. Place them in a large bowl, salt them lightly and set aside.
- Blend ricotta cheese, egg and all spices in a food processor or beat by hand until smooth. Add cheese mixture to zucchini and blend to incorporate.
- Add water and pasta sauce, stir to combine. Add 1 cup of thinned sauce to the bottom of your lasagne pan, spreading it out to evenly coat the pan.
- Now, begin layering uncooked lasagne noodles, then a third of the zucchini mixture, then another cup of sauce. Repeat until you run out of noodles (it should make approximately three layers).
- Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and bake for one hour. (Lasagne may be frozen at this point). Just before serving, sprinkle with shredded parmesan (if using) and return to the over to bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
I made a few adjustments to the recipe in that I used fresh herbs which I pureed with the sweated zucchini, egg and ricotta cheese. I also added a finely chopped shallot to this mix. For the tomato sauce, I used half a jar of pasta sauce, a tin of tomato soup and the 1 cup of water. After putting it all in the lasagna dish, I used freshly grated parmesan to top. The family thought it tasted good and it was easy enough to make. I like the idea of using asparagus - might try that next time. If I were to make this recipe again, I would use 2 - 3 garlic cloves instead of the garlic powder. I feel this would give it a bit more taste.
I liked this much more than I expected! Since the other reviews said the zucchini turned to mush, I just sliced it in thin strips, about the width of a pencil, and it held up great. I used 2 zucchini and 6 or 7 stalks of asparagus. I made to small square pans, since there are just 2 of us, and I froze one. I ended up using about 6 cups of sauce, but I should have kept it to 5, because the sauce really spread out when it cooked and I could have used less. Mine looked NOTHING like the picture here, but tasted great. I used chunky spaghetti sauce rather than just tomato sauce, so that gave it some extra spice. I can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch today!
I took the advice of kiwidutch and used chopped asparagus instead of zucchini. It tasted wonderful with the cheeses. I increased the spices a little also, as we tend to like our food spicy. This was delicious and nutritious, and the least-expensive lasagna I've ever made. I used whole wheat lasagna noodles and everyone gobbled it up.