I thought I was finished with zucchini recipes, and then my neighbor brought over three more squash to add to the two in the refrigerator.
That is the origin of zucchini lasagna, which is a riff on eggplant lasagna. I also used fresh tomatoes instead of the usual marinara. With all that squash and fresh tomato, it is easy to anticipate that there is going to be a lot of water. You can deal with that if you plan ahead.
Zucchini and Fresh Tomato Lasagna
- 5 medium-large zucchini
- 3 large, ripe tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 ounces Parmesan
- Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- With a very sharp chef’s knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices. Arrange on a clean kitchen towel covered with several layers of paper towels. Salt the zucchini liberally on both sides and let rest for 45 minutes to release water from the squash. Place the sweated slices in a colander and rinse quickly with running water. Pat dry and set aside for final assembly.
- Core and thinly slice the tomatoes. Arrange on a clean kitchen towel to absorb excess water. Set aside for final assembly.
- In a large skillet, heat the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until they are translucent. Add the ground beef, and over high heat, brown the meat while stirring frequently to break up any clumps. Add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to your taste. Drain and transfer to a plate. Set aside for final assembly.
- In a medium bowl, stir the eggs into the ricotta until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside for final assembly
- Assemble the lasagna in a large oven-proof lasagna pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray and then spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce that has been seasoned with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to your liking. Arrange a layer of the zucchini slices. Then arrange a layer of tomato slices. Top with half of the ground beef mixture, spreading it evenly. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the tomatoes and sprinkle with one cup of grated mozzarella. Repeat the process with zucchini, tomato, ground beef, ricotta, and mozzarella. Top with a third layer of zucchini and cover with the remaining cup of tomato sauce, the remaining one cup of mozzarella, and grated Parmesan.
- Bake in the middle of an oven preheated to 350°F for 1 hour and 10 minutes. If water from the zucchini and tomatoes has accumulated in the bottom of the pan, pour it off carefully or remove it with a basting bulb.
- Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into serving-sized squares. Serve while still warm.