Monday, October 10, 2011

Noodle-less lasagna

All you really need to know about this dish is the following:

My husband hates zucchini. This dish uses zucchini instead of noodles. And my husband loves this dish.

I could not have been more surprised. But if you make this and taste it, you will totally get it. It doesn't taste like you're using zucchini instead of noodles. It tastes like a really delicious lasagna. And it has the benefit of being lower-calorie than regular lasagna, because you're not using pasta and there's less cheese in it; and it's also gluten-free. Just add this to my hallelujah-I'm-so-happy-my-husband-likes-this repertoire.

Now, shhhhhhh. Nobody tell my husband this recipe title has the word "lamb" in it. He loves lamb and I do not, so I used beef instead. Still uber delicious. This is an Everyday Food recipe (shocking, I know), and you can't tell from the picture but each serving only has 316 calories (!!!!!!). Add a side salad and you have yourself a downright healthy meal.

Ingredients! Olive oil, zucchini, onion, garlic, ground beef, tomato paste, tomatoes, oregano, ricotta, and parmesan.

Word to the wise: I think you can use one fewer zucchini than this recipe calls for, unless you've got midget zucchini. Also, I think this recipe takes a bit longer than is indicated -- I'd give yourself an hour and twenty minutes to put this together, especially if you're drinking wine while you're making it.

You don't use mozzarella in this recipe, and it turns out fabulous in spite of that. It's moist and wonderful. The flavors meld together in such a way that my husband remarked that this would be a good way to get a kid who doesn't like vegetables to eat some vegetables. Because it doesn't taste like vegetables, good sir.

I am so going to make this over and over again this fall and winter. It definitely falls into the category of comfort meals.

Once again, since this recipe is from the October issue, it's not on the web site yet, so I'll just type it in below ... happy eating!

Zucchini, Tomato, and Lamb Lasagna
serves 6 at 316 calories per serving. Word to the wise: my husband and I each ate two servings. Oops.


- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for baking sheets
- 5 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices (I found I needed only 4)
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 yellow onion, diced small
- 2 garlic cloves (recipe didn't say what to do with these but I sliced them)
- 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb or beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 large tomatoes, diced large
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
- 10 ounces part-skim ricotta (1 cup)
- 1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated (2 tablespoons)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush two rimmed baking sheets with oil. Divide zucchini between sheets; arrange in a single layer, turning once to coat. Season with salt and pepper; roast until softened, 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add lamb and cook, breaking up meat with a spoon until browned, 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer lamb to paper towels to drain and pour off fat from skillet. Return lamb to skillet; add tomato paste, tomatoes, and oregano. Stir to combine. Cook until tomato liquid is almost evaporated, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Reduce oven to 400 degrees. Spoon half the lamb mixture into an 8 inch square baking dish. Top with half the zucchini slices, overlapping to fit. Repeat layering with remaining lamb mixture and zucchini. Spread ricotta over top; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is browned in spots, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

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