Guys, I thoroughly give up on trying to take pictures of pasta. It just doesn't work, ever. No matter how I stage it, it always looks like one big saucy blob. I almost didn't even share this dish with you guys because I was so frustrated with how the pictures were turning out. But you know the deal, sometimes something just tastes SO good, you have to just bite your tongue and go with it. And hope that everyone is wearing rose colored glasses.
I actually just realized that here I am complaining about how pasta is so hard to photograph, when, this isn't really a pasta dish. Nope, it's the wonderful low-carb alternative to pasta- zucchini! So I guess I can add zucchini to the impossible to photograph list. Or maybe not. Maybe I can give zucchini a break since it is it's first offense and this dish was good enough to make me forget about my photography woes. Yeah, I think that's what I'll do.
On a serious note, this stuff is so good. I'm the biggest pasta lover you'll meet so I can tell when someone's trying to sell me a knock-off, but THIS, this is just as good as the original. The texture of the zucchini is honestly so similar to lasagna noodles once it's baked, and since you're smothering it all in a rich, meaty sauce with cheese, you really can't tell much of a difference.
However, even though your taste buds won't be able to tell much of a difference, your body certainly will since this lasagna has less carbs, less calories, and less fat! I have a pretty good feeling you won't miss the noodles!
P.S. This is also gluten-free!
Zucchini LasagnaYield: One 9x9 inch pan
Ingredients:3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8 inch thick (using a mandolin)
1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions:Lightly salt zucchini slices. Then, on a gas grill, grill zucchini on each side for 3-5 minutes, or until cooked. Transfer to a paper towel to allow excess moisture to be absorbed. Meanwhile, prepare the meat sauce.
In a medium skillet, brown ground beef with onions and garlic until cooked through. Add crushed tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg until well combined. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spread some of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking dish. Place the zucchini slices in a single layer over the sauce. Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture on the zucchini, then top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat (sauce, zucchini, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce). Lay down remaining zucchini slices. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Note- The zucchini I used gave me enough for three layers; depending on how big yours are, it may give you more. Therefore, divide the ricotta, mozzarella, and meat sauce as you see fit.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Skinnytaste