My garden is, of course, once again overrun with zucchini. There are also many tomatoes. I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and so I decided to make zucchini “lasagne” with fresh tomato sauce. This recipe is great for anyone whose cutting back on gluten for health or other reasons – the zucchini slices replace the need for lasagne noodles.
Zucchini Lasagne with Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce
Makes a 9×13″ pan of lasagne
For the tomato sauce – Makes about 3.5-4 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
4-5 cups of cherry tomatoes
1/4-1/2 cup of red wine
6-10 basil leaves
3 large sprigs of flat leaf parsley
1 large sprig of rosemary
sea salt, to taste
For the lasagne
2 medium zucchini (About 1 inch diameter and about 6-8 inches long)
15 ounces ricotta
4 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
First, get the sauce started. Cut the onion in half and thinly slice it. Thinly slice the garlic cloves. Cut the tomatoes in half. Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, sprinkle on a little salt, and then saute until lightly browned. Add a little wine to deglaze the pan, and then add the tomatoes. Add enough wine to lightly cost the bottom of your pan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat). Simmer for about 25-35 minutes, squishing the tomatoes occasionally with a spoon. If the pan starts to get dry, add a little more red wine.
When the sauce is almost done, finely chops the herbs. Add the herbs to the pan and stir until they are bright green (1-2 minutes). With an immersion blender, blend the sauce until there are no more big tomato pieces. It should be a little textured. If you don’t have an immersion blender, cool the sauce to room temperature, and then pulse a few times in a food processor. Season to taste with sea salt.
Next, make the ricotta mixture. Put the ricotta in a bowl with 2 cups of mozzarella, the Parmesan, and the eggs. Mix well.
Now, you need to prepare the zucchini. Cut off the ends, and then cut in half. You should have 4 pieces of zucchini. Using a mandoline slicer (or a very steady hand, a sharp knife, and some patience), cut the zucchini into long, thin strips.
Finally, let’s assemble the lasagne. Preheat the oven to 375 F and spray a 9×13″ baking dish (I use a Pyrex) with oil.
Spread about 1 cup of your sauce on the bottom. Make a layer of zucchini – make sure they overlap a little bit. Next, put half of your ricotta mixture, and then about 1 cup of sauce. Sprinkle over 1 cup of mozzarella. Layer more zucchini, then the rest of the ricotta mixture, and about 1 more cup of sauce. Finally, put one last layer of zucchini, the rest of your sauce, and the final cup of mozzarella.
Spray a piece of aluminum foil with oil (nothing worse than all the cheese getting pulled off of your lasagne), and cover the baking dish. Bake in your preheated oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5-10 more minutes.
Let the lasagne sit for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting. It’s pretty watery at first and will need to firm up a little bit.