Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Zucchini "Noodle" Lasagna

With Hubs trying to eat fewer carbs, cooking has been a challenge because pasta was one of the few things that everyone in the family would eat. I almost cried when I realized that yet another option was gone! What was a girl to do?!?

Until I found this recipe for lasagna which uses zucchini noodles instead of pasta, of course. I was raring to try it. I admit it's a bit involved, because you use home made pasta sauce and then layer it with the zucchini and cheese, then bake it for a good 50 minutes.

Now...the only drawback to this recipe was that there was so much moisture in the zucchini that the end result was a bit soupy. I would recommend putting the zucchini slices in a colander and sprinkling it with about 2 tsp of salt and letting it sit to draw out the excess moisture. Wipe the salt and moisture off with paper towel before proceeding.

Despite the apart soupiness, Hubs and Jake downed that baby, smacking their lips and saying it was absolutely amazing and surprisingly filling. Success! I did make a LOT of changes, adding things here and there. I will make it again for sure because Hubs just loved it.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, April 2010

1 (28 oz) can of whole plum tomatoes, with juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced very thinly lengthwise
1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz ground turkey
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp basil
2 tbsp tomato paste

To make the sauce:

Saute the onion with the red pepper flakes until tender, stirring. Meanwhile, pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add the turkey into the pan with the onion and continue to cook, breaking up the large pieces and getting it nice and browned. When there is no longer any pinkish meat, add the garlic and continue to cook for about a minute or two. Then toss in the tomatoes and bring it to a boil.

Reduce the heat and let simmer, stirring and adding the sugar, tomato paste, basil, tasting for salt and pepper. Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes to thicken up.

Let the sauce cool, and stir in the fresh oregano.

Meanwhile, slice your zucchini lengthwise, really thin. Like about 1/8 inch thin. Use a mandoline if you have one (I don't). Put them in a colander over your sink, sprinkle the slices with about 2 tsp of salt, and let them sit while the sauce cooks, this will draw the moisture out of your zucchini so it doesn't get soupy. When you need them, simple wipe them off with paper towel.

To assemble the lasagna:

Heat your oven to 375 F.

In the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish, make a layer of zucchini slices using about 5 or 6 pieces. Spread over 1 cup of the sauce. Dot with 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese, and then a sprinkle of mozzarella. Repeat three times with remaining zucchini, ricotta, and mozzarella. Alternate the direction of the zucchini with each layer. End by sprinkling the top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 50 minutes while everything bubbles and browns.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving, and top with freshly chopped oregano.

Serves 6

(Update: Sorry about missing how much zucchini you need! That's what I get for writing a bunch of recipes at once. )
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