I was looking to do something different than just sautéing zucchini as a side dish this week & was inspired by the flavors in Ben's Zucchini Bruschetta's. I thought why not take those flavors & turn them into baked dish, which turned into a lasagna using the zucchini as the noodles.
This turned out much better than I expected. The zucchini held up well as the "noodles" & because I didn't cook them before using they retained a little bit of a crunch. Usually, we use Italian sausage in lasagna but I had some ground turkey in the freezer which turned out to be a good choice, its mild flavor was a good compliment to the zucchini.
For the sauce I used a can of Muir Glen Tomato Sauce (Muir Glen makes the best organic tomato products!) which I doctored with a little fresh oregano & basil from the garden. Then I added some cream to give the sauce a some richness. Use any sauce you like here but I highly recommend a creamy tomato sauce.
I'm almost embarrassed to say we ate the whole lasagna in one sitting last night (to be fair it was only 5" x 6). Matt says he would definitely have it again & also thinks leaving out the noodles allows us to have more garlic bread on the side.
Zucchini & Turkey Pasta
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large zucchini
15-oz tomato sauce (about 2 cups)
3/4 c grated mozzarella
freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a skillet cook the turkey, red pepper flakes, salt to taste, onion & garlic until the turkey is cooked through & the onions are translucent.
Using a peeler or a mandolin, slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons. We found a Y peeler to be perfect for this.
Spoon just enough tomato sauce onto the bottom of a 5" x 6" baking dish to coat it. Lay 1/3 of the zucchini slices on top of the sauce overlapping as you go.
Spoon 1/2 of the turkey mixture on top of the zucchini. Then top with 1/3 of the remaining tomato sauce & sprinkle with 1/4 c of mozzarella. Add another layer of zucchini slices, using 1/2 of what you have left) then the rest of the meat, 1/2 the remaining sauce & 1/4 c mozzarella. Use the last of the zucchini slices to make one more layer. Top with the remaining tomato sauce & mozzarella & then some grated Parmesan.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes until the cheese is melted & brown & the sauce is bubbly. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes before slicing & serving.
Serve 2 hungry people or 4 not so hungry.
(double this recipe to make a full-sized lasagna)