Lasagna 100% Noodle-Free

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I absolutely LOVE lasagna, at least I used to…I have tried to “cheat” and eat the traditional dish, but I pay for it dearly!  I had to figure out a way to capture the flavors of this much beloved dish.  There are many variations of this meal out there but I think this recipe has me pointed in the right direction, and I am thrilled!!  Unfortunately, this was not the MOST photogenic meal, but just had to share!

What you will need:

  • 3-4 zucchini (depending on size) skin on, sliced thin (I used a mandolin)
  • Salt
  • 2 Lbs Ground Beef(I used 85/15, 100% grass fed)
  • 2 tbsp ground pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic crushed or chopped very fine
  • 2 roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 1.5 c. tomato paste
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 15 oz of Ricotta cheese
  • 4-5 tbs fresh parsley
  • 16 oz of frozen (organic) Spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 1 lb fresh mushrooms, I like them chopped fine
  • 16 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 10 oz fresh grated parmesan cheese

Cook Temp 350 degrees

How it’s done:

  1. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper
  2. Slice zucchini (length wise) very thin with mandolin.  Sprinkle slices lightly with salt, set aside and let drain (this allows them to lose some of their water before cooking)
  3. Prepare meat sauce:  In a large pan cook beef and pepper for about 5 min.  Add in red pepper, garlic, and onion; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink.  Stir in tomato paste, sauce, wine, basil and oregano.  Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer for about 20 min.
  4. Preheat Oven now
  5. In a med bowl, mix together Ricotta, egg and parsley…combine well, and set aside.
  6. Slice mushrooms
  7. To assemble Lasagna:  Spread 1/2 of meat sauce on the bottom of baking pan.  Then layer 1/2 of the zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, ALL of the spinach and ALL of the mushrooms; Then 1/2 the mozzarella.  Repeat by layering the meat sauce, zucchini, ricotta, and mozzarella.  Spread parmesan evenly over the top and cover with more parchment paper.
  8. Bake for 45min to an hour (depending on thickness), then remove parchment paper cover and bake for an additional 15 min.  (I ended up turning on my broiler near the end of the 20 min to get desired color on cheese)
  9. Let stand for at least 5 min before serving

Mario Batali’s Zucchini-Ricotta Fritters

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Sometimes I get desperate for SOMETHING new, so this weekend we gave these a go!  I am really inconsistent when it comes to frying food, so they may not look as good as they should…but they tasted Great!  I topped these with a little Tzatziki, but anything with a little citrus would be good.

What you will need:

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 7 ounces each), coarsely shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 3 large scallions, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh sheep-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 c COCONUT Flour (original recipe used 3/4 cup all-purpose flour )
  • Olive Oil, for frying
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

How it’s done:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, garlic, scallions, ricotta, eggs, lemon zest and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir well, then stir in the flour just until incorporated.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Working in batches, add 2-tablespoon mounds of the zucchini batter to the hot oil, spreading them to form 3-inch fritters. Fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain the fritters on the paper towels and serve right away, with lemon wedges.

Make Ahead: The fritters can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours and re-crisped in a 325° oven.