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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Zucchini Lasagna

My DIL asked me to make this lasagna to cut down on carbs and calories. I used my regular lasagna recipe and substituted grilled zucchini for the pasta. 

4-5 Zucchini, sliced lengthwise about 25 slices*
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 lb ground Beef
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 1/2 cups Béchamel Sauce (recipe below)
4 cups Tomato Sauce
1 tsp minced Garlic
1 tsp Basil
Salt and Pepper
15 oz Ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Sprinkle sliced zucchini with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. Coat a grill pan with oil and grill zucchini on both sides until lightly brown, and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil on med-high. Add ground beef, salt and pepper, and sauté until browned, breaking up large clumps. Remove from heat, drain excess fat and let cool completely.

Preheat oven to 375 and make sure rack is in center position of oven.

In a medium bowl, mix the béchamel and tomato sauces to blend. Add meat mixture, garlic and basil.

In another medium bowl, mix ricotta, eggs, and ½ cup Mozzarella cheese.** (You can also add fresh minced garlic, basil and other seasonings if desired.)

In a 13 x 9 baking dish, spoon a little sauce and meat mixture over the bottom of the dish. Place zucchini slices over top the sauce, overlapping slightly and completely covering the bottom of the dish.
Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles and sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella. Place more zucchini slices over ricotta mixture, top with sauce, and sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella. Top with remaining zucchini, then rest of sauce, and mozzarella, and Parmesan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

*It will depend on the size of the zucchini as to how many slices you will yield. The pan is 13x9, and there are 3 layers of zucchini slices. I ended up using 5 small size zucchini cut the thickness of noodles on a mandolin slicer.

**Tip: The lasagna will puff up because of the egg in the ricotta. When the center is risen as high as the edges, it’s done.

Béchamel Sauce

3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk

In a medium sauce pan, over med-high heat, melt butter and whisk in flour, stirring until lightly browned. Slowly add in milk, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring each addition until thickened and bubbly. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick, smooth and creamy but not boiling, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in a pinch of salt, pepper to taste and if desired, a pinch of nutmeg.

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