Zucchini Lasagna Sans Noodles

Andy Anderson !

By
@ThePretentiousWichitaChef

The biggest problem I had in developing this recipe is reducing the amount of liquid produced when baked.

After a few attempts in the test kitchen, I found that pre-baking the zucchini, and draining out the excess liquid in the cottage cheese did the trick.

This dish combined with a quick tomato sauce provides an excellent dinner for a nice cozy evening.

I find as the weather turns cooler, I do things to warm the sauce up a bit... like adding a pinch of Cayenne pepper.

Don't forget a loaf of rustic bread, and butter to complete the meal... enjoy.


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Comments:

Serves:

4-6

Prep:

30 Min

Cook:

40 Min

Method:

Bake

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Notes from the Test Kitchen:
Guests are going to love this lasagna when you have them over for dinner. The fabulous flavors in this recipe will have your meat-loving friends asking for seconds!

Ingredients

QUICK TOMATO SAUCE

1 Tbsp
olive oil, extra virgin
1/2 medium
yellow onion, small dice
2 clove
garlic, minced
1/8 tsp
crushed red pepper flakes
14 oz
tomato sauce (fresh if you have it)
1 Tbsp
small capers, drained
1/2 tsp
salt, kosher variety

ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

1 lb
cottage cheese, large curd
1 c
parmesan cheese, finely grated (to be used as a topping after cooking.
1/2 tsp
salt, kosher variety
1/4 tsp
black pepper, freshly ground
1 1/2 lb
zucchini
3 Tbsp
olive oil, extra virgin
1 1/2 lb
white button mushrooms
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
10 oz
artichoke hearts, frozen or canned
1 Tbsp
flour, all purpose variety (or arrow root powder)
4 c
mozzarella cheese, whole milk, freshly shredded
1 large
tomato... your choice

Directions Step-By-Step

1
I love a good homemade lasagna, and I was taught by best... My Aunt Josephine Batali. She was born and raised in Naples, and she definitely knew her way around a kitchen.

When I was a lad of nine or ten, I would go with her to the South Chicago farmer's markets, and she would be thumping and sniffing all the great veggies.

She had an expression that every time she said it she would laugh:

Never Trust a Skinny Chef...

Since she was as thin as a rail, my nine-year-old brain didn't get that she was trying to be funny... I get it now, and I'm laughing with you. I hope you're looking down and smiling.
2
QUICK TOMATO SAUCE

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
3
Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
4
Add the tomato sauce, capers, and measured salt, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the flavors meld and the sauce has slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside.
5
ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

Cut the ends off the zucchini, and slice into 1/4-inch strips (lengthwise).

Rough chop the artichokes and put into a colander to drain any excess liquid.

Remove the cottage cheese from the container, and place on several paper towels to remove any additional liquid.

Slice the tomato into 6 thin slices, and lay on paper towel to drain.

Chef's Note: We're doing a lot of draining here, I know; however, it's an essential step.
6
Place the zucchini slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets, and roast in a preheated 375f (190c) oven for about 15 minutes.

Chef's Note: If you don't have two baking sheets, just do them in two batches.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.
7
Chef's Note: When you have finished baking the zucchini leave the oven on, and place the rack in the bottom position.
8
Chef's Tip: If you don't have a mandolin, you might want explore getting one. Japanese mandolins are not that expensive, and they make short work out evenly slicing just about any kind of veggie.

They come in all sizes and shapes; however, I would recommend one with different cutting blades, and adjustable depth.
9
Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and thinly slice.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan, and then heat over medium heat until shimmering.

Add half the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 7 minutes.

Chef's Note: During this process stir as little as possible.

Remove the mushrooms from the pan, and reserve in a large prep bowl.

Repeat the process, adding 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, and then cook and reserve the remaining mushrooms.
10
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan, heat over medium heat until shimmering.

Add the artichokes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 to 7 minutes.
11
Add the artichokes to the the mushrooms, add the flour, or arrowroot powder, and then toss until all the veggies are evenly coated.
12
Add 1 1/4 cups of the sauce to the mushroom-artichoke mixture and toss to evenly coat.

Then spread the remaining tomato sauce in a thin layer over the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
13
Scatter a quarter of the mushroom, artichoke mixture over the sauce in an even layer.

Then, carefully place a quarter of the zucchini slices in a single layer over the mixture.

Add about a third of the cottage cheese evenly over the top.

Finally, sprinkle a quarter of the mozzarella over the cottage cheese filling.
14
Make two more layers:

mushroom,artichoke mixture
zucchini slices
cottage cheese
mozzarella cheese
15
The final layer should be:

zucchini slices
mushroom, artichoke mixture
mozzarella cheese.

Add the six slices of tomato over the top of the mozzarella.
16
Bake uncovered in the preheated oven, until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the top is browned. This should take about 40 minutes. If after this it still needs a bit of browning, you can set the temp up to 400f, and bake an additional 10 minutes

Let cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before slicing. Place the Parmesan cheese in a bowl, and allow your guests to add some at the table. Enjoy.
17
ADDITIONAL CHEF'S NOTES:

I prefer zucchini squash over yellow or crookneck squash because it’s hearty enough to stand up to roasting without falling apart or sticking to the baking sheet.

For a gluten-free lasagna, substitute arrowroot for the flour, as I indicated in the recipe.
18
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About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Italian
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tag: Healthy