Thursday, September 20, 2007

I've Lost My Noodle Zucchini Lasagne


Warm greetings to all of you out there in blogland. Please accept my apologies for my lack of communication this week. I have been busy with wedding planning. Friends are getting married this Saturday, and I've been involved with crafty things--making decorations for the church (pew bows and the standards for the front), helping make the favors (assorted handmade chocolates), and I'm expecting the flower delivery today so that I can start work on the reception centerpieces.

So that, along with getting a haricut, various errands and other family and community obligations, I have been utterly overwhelmed with activity. So much so I have not visited any of my favorite sites & blogs.

Well... on to the lasagne. I host a ladies' meeting every Tuesday morning, which is followed by a light lunch. Many of the women watch their carbs, so those of us who prepare food try to take that into account. And my no-noodle lasagne was a huge success.

Here's the recipe:

I've Lost My Noodle Zucchini Lasagne
(recipe adapted from the back of the Barilla No-Boil Lasagne Noodle package)

1 jumbo-sized zucchini, peeled and seeded, sliced into thin slices
1 16-ounce container small curd cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (low fat if desired)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups (divided) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1-1/2 pounds ground turkey or ground beef, browned and drained of excess fat
2 jars (26-ounce each) of your favorite spaghetti sauce, or the equivalent amount of homemade sauce


Directions

Spray a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350*F.

In a medium bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, 2 cups of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. (Note: I like to puree down the cottage cheese so that it's a smooth consistency, more like ricotta. In my town, ricotta is waaaaay overpriced.)

Start lasagne by a couple of spoonfuls of sauce on the bottom of your baking pan. Spread it around. Top the sauce with enough zucchini slices to cover the bottom.


Carefully spread a layer of cheese mixture, then sprinkle liberally with cooked ground turkey.


Dollop with sauce, and repeat the layers until you've used up your cheese mixture and you're close to the top of your pan. Some people divide the layers in thirds... I just go by eye.


Finish with a layer of zucchini, then spread with sauce and sprinkle with remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.


Cover your lasagne with foil and bake 1 hour.

Be careful, because the zucchini releases a lot of water--I had to use a turkey baster to siphon off excess liquid--which was delicious, by the way--and it still spilled over in the oven. So you should plan to place a baking sheet under your pan to catch spills.


This lasagne was served with a pasta fagiole soup. Normally I'd also serve bread, but this group of women does not really eat a lot of bread, so we did not bother. A salad would be a nice addition, too.

Everything was gobbled up with rave reviews.
And a small addition here--my dear friend, Angela, brought these beautiful flowers as a centerpiece for our lunch. What a lovely thought! She grew them herself--aren't they gorgeous?

Mrs.W

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