Any Kitchen Will Do

Give me a kitchen and I will cook.

Zucchini Lasagna

Here is another low carb dish! We are really enjoying the increased level of energy we are experiencing with our current diet, which includes avoiding grains, sugars and processed foods. I am not a die hard fan of most pasta dishes, but I am a lasagna lover. When we traveled in Italy eight years ago I was all about the meat, fish and vegetables – the pasta was, surprisingly to me, not my go to dish while there. Probably because I was corrupted by American knock offs, or because I did not go to Northern Italy, where there is supposedly ‘better’ pasta. I do not really feel like I missed out. Especially in Rome there were almost as many places to get a skewer of roasted meat as there were pizza slices. Go figure. The time we spent renting a villa in Tuscany was sprinkled with visits to the local co-op for freshly butchered meat and freshly picked produce. The cheeses and cured meats were quite an experience, too. Of course, the evil alcoholic concoction we came up with while relaxing the nights away made the eating at the villa a pleasant blur. We would take Coca Cola light (the Italian version of diet Coke) and mix it with some quite horrible tasting Grappa. We did find what I consider very good Grappa before we left, but that first bottle was nasty. Not to waste alcohol, we combined it with the soda and boom! We dubbed our creation Crappa. We got schnockered and did some skinny dipping in the pool. To make a long story short, and totally disconnected to our libation, this recipe takes care of my lasagna craving while keeping me away from the processed carbs found in pasta

Zucchini Lasagna

2 large, narrow zucchini
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tsp dried parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Splenda or ¼ tsp sugar
12-15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 ½ pounds ground Italian sausage, broken up and cooked thoroughly
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. In small sauce pan combine the diced tomatoes, paste, oregano, parsley, onion powder, salt and Splenda or sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, turn down flame and simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove from flame and let sit. While it is cooking prepare the rest of the dish. In a medium bowl mix the ricotta cheese, spinach and nutmeg and set aside – trust me – it sounds odd, but the nutmeg enhances the ricotta flavor. Slice ends off of zucchini. With a vegetable peeler peel off long strips of zucchini. If you don’t have a peeler, instead make zucchini coins as thin as you can with a knife. To build the lasagna begin with a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Add a layer of zucchini strips/coins overlapping generously to make a solid layer, followed by the ricotta mixture, sauce, mushrooms, sausage and 1 cup of mozzarella. Repeat the layers again. Top with a third layer of zucchini and the last of the mozzarella. Bake lasagna until heated through and cheese on top begins to brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about ten minutes, allowing the lasagna to set.

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2 thoughts on “Zucchini Lasagna

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