Zucchini Lasagna


INGREDIENTS

For the zucchini layer:

  • 5 medium zucchinis (2 lb. total weight)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

For the beef layer:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (85/15)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 ⅓ cup marinara sauce divided

For the ricotta layer:

  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil packed (1 oz)

Topping:

  • 8 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

METHOD

Grill the zucchini slices:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and heat your grill to medium. Slice the zucchinis lengthwise, into ¼-inch-thick strips, getting 6 slices out of each zucchini and discarding the ends.
  • Spray the zucchini slices with olive oil and sprinkle them with ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Grill the zucchini slices, in batches, 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden and firm – not browned and crisp. Spread them on clean kitchen towels to soak up more moisture.

Cook the beef:

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the meat, the minced garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  • Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until the meat is no longer raw, about 5 minutes. Drain into a colander, then return the meat to the pot and mix in 1 cup of the marinara sauce. Turn the heat off and set aside.

Prepare the ricotta layer:

  • In a medium bowl, with a fork, mix together the ricotta, eggs, basil, and the remaining kosher salt and black pepper.

Assemble the lasagna:

  • Spread the remaining ⅓ cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish. You can also use a slightly smaller baking dish such as a dish that measures 11 X 7 inches.
  • Top the marinara sauce with a layer of zucchini, then a third of the ricotta mixture, a third of the meat mixture, and a third of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Repeat, arranging the zucchini slices in the opposite direction: zucchini, ⅓ ricotta, ⅓ meat mixture, ⅓ mozzarella.
  • Repeat one last time, adding one extra layer of zucchini: zucchini, ricotta, meat mixture, more zucchini, and mozzarella.

Bake the lasagna:

  • Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is golden, about 30 minutes. You can finish by broiling for 1-2 minutes on high to brown the cheese, if you wish and if your dish is broiler-safe. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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