What is more delicious after a long day of work than a slice of piping-hot lasagna with a glass of a full-bodied red wine? Not much. Yet, when I cut out most dairy and gluten out of my diet a couple of months ago, I feared there would be no more room for one of my Italian favorites. Well, no more.
One of my favorite ways to serve zucchini is in thick ribbons, maybe made with a mandoline or even a vegetable peeler. Prepared just so, they also make a nutritious, low-calorie, and 100 percent gluten-free alternative to conventional lasagna noodles.
I like a little ground meat in my lasagna, but it can also be easily substituted out for a mix of sautéed vegetables. Try this recipe once, then have fun experimenting on your own!
- 1 ground beef
- Salt, to taste
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced in thin (about 1/8-inch) ribbons
- 2 olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- One 16-ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 containers bufala or whole-milk mozzarella
- 1/2 freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add ground beef, season to taste, turn heat to medium, and cook about 2 minutes, or until the beef is half cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
While the beef cooks, prepare the zucchini. Set aside.
In the same pan, add the oil, garlic, and onions. Season to taste. Cook onions until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and purée with a hand blender until only ¼-inch chunks remain.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 6-by-9-inch (or so) baking dish. Add a layer of zucchini, a layer of ground beef, another thin layer of sauce, then a layer of mozzarella. Repeat again, making sure to fill all the way to the edges. Top with the second layer of mozzarella and a garnish of Parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce to 300 degrees and cook another 40 minutes, or until half of the moisture has evaporated and the cheese on top is bubbly and golden.
Let rest for 10 minutes, then serve.