I like lasagna; I really do. And lately, I've been enjoying more and more pasta. Honestly, I'm probably using the excuse of running and race training as an excuse to eat more pasta, but I know I don't need THAT many carbs in my diet. But, hey, I'm running the Komen Race for the Cure 5K here in Birmingham tomorrow, so why not?
Luckily, I'm a fan of pasta alternatives. From vegetable noodles to spaghetti squash (more on that in a few days!), I have plenty of low-carb AND gluten-free alternatives to standard semolina pasta. This vegetarian lasagna, for instance, replaces the standard lasagna noodles with zucchini slices! You honestly won't miss the pasta at all, and it's ALWAYS great to get more veggies into a meal!
Like my last lasagna recipe, this one is vegetarian, but feel free to add some browned LEAN ground beef to your sauce if you don't want to go meatless. If you're REALLY watching what you eat, you can even substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta; just squeeze out the excess "cheese juice".
adapted from The Italian Dish
3 lbs large zucchini
16oz ricotta cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, divided1 cup bread crumbs, divided
1 quart spaghetti sauce
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
Slice the zucchini lengthwise (this is where a mandoline pays for itself); cook in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes or until just limp. Drain on paper towels.
Combine the ricotta, eggs, parsley, oregano, basil and 1/2 of the Parmesan/Romano cheese (1/2 cup) and 1/2 of the bread crumbs (1/2 cup). Set aside.
I actually froze some of the basil and oregano I grew over the summer, so I decided to use it instead of the dried stuff!
Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 13x9" baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining bread crumbs (1/4 cup). Arrange a layer of zucchini slices on top.
Spoon 1/2 of the ricotta mixture on top of the zucchini, then sprinkle with 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese (8oz).
Layer on more zucchini slices and top with spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the bread crumbs (1/4 cup) over this layer, then top with the remaining ricotta mixture.
Finally, add the remaining mozzarella (8oz) and Parmesan/Romano (1/2 cup).