I swear I didn’t create this recipe just because it’s fun to say. Okay, maybe that was a very small reason. But mostly I created it as a low-carb dinner that will use up extra vegetables from the garden or farmers market. The key ingredient is a really big zucchini, the kind that hides in the garden for a few days until it has grown to the size of a child’s baseball bat. These zucchinis aren’t great for straight cooking, they’re low on flavor and big on seeds. But they’re perfect for turning into pasta.
This was definitely one of my more out-there ideas, I was working without a recipe and in relatively new territory (I’ve only made real lasagna once before), but I was absolutely thrilled with the results! I didn’t have any homemade tomato sauce around, so I used jarred, but make sure whatever sauce you use tastes great, because the zucchini will soak up its flavor. The zucchini works really well as a pasta substitute, and the eggplant eliminates the need for meat. Hint: make sure you prep the eggplant before assembling your lasagna; slice it, then coat both sides of each piece with salt, and let sit on paper towels for an hour, washing before use. This will draw the liquid out of the eggplant and make it taste much better.
No-Pasta Zucchini Lasasgna
1 large zucchini
1 medium eggplant, sliced into steaks and prepped (as detailed above)
4 tomatoes, sliced
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outside skin off the zucchini. Then, carefully peel the white inner flesh into long, thin, wide strips. Stop when you reach the seeded core.
2. In a 9×13 baking dish, spread 1 cup of sauce evenly along the bottom.
3. Layer the zucchini strips over the sauce, overlapping each other to create a solid base.
4. On top of the zucchini, place a layer of eggplant slices.
5. On top of the eggplant, make a layer of tomato slices, ideally offset with the eggplants.
6. In a bowl, thoroughly combine the egg and ricotta. Then spread evenly over the tomatoes.
7. Cover the whole dish with another layer of zucchini. If you have a deep baking dish, or very thin slices, you can repeat the whole process again. My pan was almost full at this point, so I only did one set of the layers.
8. When layering is complete, pour 1 cup of sauce over the zucchini, and spread evenly. Then sprinkle or grate Parmesan cheese over the top.
9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool and set for 5-10 minutes. Then slice up and enjoy!