Zuchinni Lasagna

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Zucchini Lasagna with a fresh Greens Salad

Zucchini Lasagna with a fresh from the garden salad.

Today I’ll be sharing the recipe to my awesome Zuchinni Lasagna. Taking the time to make a proper tomato sauce makes this lasagna a winner. By removing the meat and the cheese you can have an amazing vegan lasagna also.  I call this Zucchini Lasagna since thin, long ribbons of zuchinni are used instead of pasta.  Keeping with the healthier side of things since I’m not using pasta I also decide to cut the fat of the cheese back by using cottage cheese and a bit of cheddar.  Remember the enjoyment of cooking is experimenting so feel free to go crazy with this as your base.

Zuchinni Lasagna

1 Medium Red Onion, diced
1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced
3 Stocks of Celery, 1/2″ sections
6 Cloves of Garlic, minced
8 Basil Leaves, finely chopped (1 tbsp. dry)
1 tbsp. Chopped Parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Shredded Cheddar
1 Large Tomato, cut in chunks (1 14oz can of Canned Tomatoes)
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 8oz can Tomato Sauce
2 Large Zuchinnis
1 Cup pressed Cottage Cheese (explanation in recipe)
Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper

Tomato Sauce

Sweating the aromatics for Tomato Sauce

Sweat the aromatics

1.  Heat pan with 1tbsp. Olive Oil.  Sweat the onion, red and yellow pepper, and celery.  Add 1/2tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper.
2. Once the aromatics begin to carmalize reduce heat and add all of the garlic and basil.  Stir continually while you bring the heat back to medium.

Reduce the Wine and Liquid of Sauce

Reducing

3. Add the chunked tomato (or canned) and 1/2 cup of White Wine.  Stir well and reduce the liquid volume by half.

Tomato Sauce after 45 minutes of simmering

All kinds of flavor in there.

4. Add tomato sauce, stir, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Completed Tomato Sauce

Sauce Complete, You are the Winner!

5. Add 1/2 cup of water to remaining paste, bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Stir in your chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Zuchinni Pasta

Making the pasta from the zucchini is a task.  First peel the skin from your zuchinni with a peeler.  Once you have the zuchinni peeled, take your peeler to the zuchinni and cut ribbons lengthwise from top to bottom of the fruit.  Once you begin hitting the seeds in the middle, stop cutting from that side and switch.  Cover the ribbons with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Peeling Zuchinni to Pasta Like Ribbons

Use your peeler to peel off long ribbons. Stop once you reach the seeds.

Putting it all Together

 

A Floor of Zuchinni

Prepare the floor for toppings!

1.  Liberally apply olive oil to bottom of loaf pan and build a layer of zuchinni that completely covers the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on zuchinni.

Squeeze the Cheese

Squeeze all the liquid from the cottage cheese.

2.  Place cottage cheese in a clean dish towel.  Twist the towel as tight as you can to force the liquid from the cottage cheese.  This will give you a ricotta like healthier cheese for your lasagna.

Assembling the Lasagna

Once you build your first layer, continue to top of pan.

3. Begin building your first layer. Spread 1/4 cup of meat (or whatever filling), 1/3 cup of sauce, and a 1/4 cup of cheese on top of the zuchinni.

 

Lasagna Ready for the Oven

Ready for the oven!

4.  Repeat building layers to the top of pan.  Cover final layer with zuchinni.  Cover final zuchinni layer with sauce, spread 1/3 cup of sauce and 1/4 cup of cheese on top.  Sprinkle with cheddar or cheese of your choice.  Bake at 350F for 30 – 35 minutes.

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