Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna

1 package Lasagna noodles
1 lb ground beef (browned and the fat drained off)
2 (26 oz) jars tomato/spagetti sauce
1 large container cottage cheese
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 container grated parmesan cheese
4 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 large onion (peeled & chopped)
1+ cloves of garlic (to taste - I use 1 clove but you may use more)(peeled & minced)
1 medium yellow zucchini (washed & chopped)
1 medium green zucchini (washed & chopped)
1 large green pepper (washed & chopped)
fresh basil leaves (washed & chopped - about 3 tablespoons worth)(parsley may be substituted)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon (or more - to taste) hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pyrex baking dishes (I use one large rectangular and one small rectangular dish)

1.  Prepare the lasagna noodles as described on the back of the package (usually boil about 8 minutes - then drain and rinse with cool water).

2.  Brown the ground beef as described above (making sure to drain the fat)

3.  Prepare the vegetables as described above and saute them in olive oil along with the spices (basil, black pepper, garlic & red pepper) for about 10 minutes (or until "al dente" or not quite totally cooked)

4.  You will need 2 large bowls:
In the first bowl mix 2 eggs, 1 of the jars of tomato sauce (scraping the inside of the jar making sure that you use all the sauce), and the browned ground beef.
In the second bowl mix the sauteed vegetables & spices, the second jar of sauce and the cottage cheese.
In the second bowl combine the sauteed vegetables, spices, cottage cheese & 1 jar of the tomato sauce

To Assemble:

Spread oil or spray "Pam" (or other nonstick product) on the pyrex dishes.  Place a layer of noodles on the bottom of each baking dish (see top picture - don't worry about the placement of the noodles being perfect - you can't go wrong with making lasagna - the cheese will help keep it together).  Now spread the beef mixture (from the first bowl) on top of the noodles in both baking dishes (just estimate and split the amount to fit in each pyrex dish - again it doesn't have to be exactly the same amount in each dish) - sprinkle this layer with 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese & half of the parmesan cheese (again - both baking dishes).   Now place another layer of noodles on top of the beef/tomato sauce mixture (in both baking dishes).  Spread the vegetable mixture from the second bowl on top of that layer of noodles - and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese & another 2 cups of mozzarella on top of this vegetable layer. (NOTE - I sometimes have a few left over noodles and will  just place them on top of the second layer).  Take the last 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and sparsely sprinkle on top of both lasagna dishes.  Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree (F) oven.  NOTE - if you notice the cheese getting too dark then cover with foil.  Cool for 10 minutes.  ENJOY!!

Zucchini Lasagna

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