Friday, September 19, 2014

Zucchini Lasagna ~ No Noodle ~ Naturally Gluten Free

Zucchini Lasagna ~  No Noodle ~ Naturally Gluten Free



This is a recipe that I have been wanting to make all summer. We have lots of Zucchinis and I'm always looking for new ways to make use them. Many recipes I found there were complaints that the Lasagna was watery due to the Zucchinis which naturally are a watery vegetable. This recipe may seem long, but each step is important if you want a Zucchini Lasagna that is not watery. It was so good! 


We were able to get 4 meals plus my Husband got 2 lunches. I hope you will give this Recipe a try. You can freeze the lasagna,,  place desired amount in a pan, first wrap in plastic wrap then tin foil. I do not defrost it,, when ready to cook place in a preheated 350* oven and cook until heated through. I don't not recommend microwaving it.



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Zucchini Lasagna ~  No Noodle ~ Naturally Gluten Free:

If you are not Gluten Free ~ Substitute All Purpose Flour in place of the Gluten Free Flour

To prepare the Lasagna:
Wash and Dry 2-3 Medium Zucchinis or 2 Large Zucchinis; cut off both ends
Using a Mandolin Slice the Zucchini 1/4” thick: If the Zucchini is very large cut in half so it is easier to handle. Mandolines are very sharp, use the protective shield to protect your fingers.

If you do not have a Mandolin, use a sharp knife to cut into long slices. Continue slicing until they are all sliced. Place the slices in a colander and lightly sprinkle with Salt.
Let sweat/drain for 30 minutes or longer  to remove excess moisture.
Rinse all the Zucchini with cold water to remove the Salt.
Place the Zucchini on several Kitchen Towels to Dry. Take another towel and blot dry the tops. Let the Zucchinis sit on the towels for a few minutes making sure they are dry. This is very important.
Zucchinis hold a lot of water, by taking these few extra steps your lasagna willl not be watery.

Heat up a Grill pan to Medium High,,, spray with cooking spray.
First lightly brush 4-5 pieces of Zucchini with a little bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and then place on the Grill Pan. Do not put to much Oil on the Zucchinis because the slices will absorb the oil.  Brush the second side with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Grill for about 2-4 minutes to get grill mark turn them and grill the other side. Place the Grilled Zucchini on a towel and dry them, then place on a wire rack. Continue until all the zucchinis are grilled.
If you do not have a grill pan, you can Oven Roast the Zucchini... brush a little bit of Olive Oil on a couple of large cookie sheets and Roast at 375* for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Making the Sauce:
In a large Dutch Oven:
Add:
1 lb. 90# Lean Ground Beef
6 Hot or Sweet Sausages depending on your taste. Remove the Sausage from the casings and crumble up.
Cook on Medium High for 5-10 minutes using a Large Spoon to break up the Sausage.
Add:
1 Large chopped Onion
Sprinkle with Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Cook until done. Making sure the Pork is done.
Add to taste Minced Garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Drain the cooked meat into  a colander to remove the Fat.
Add the Meat back to the Dutch Oven and add:
12 oz. Tomato Paste.. stir in to coat the meat and cook for 1 minute on low temperature.
Add:
1 Cup Red Wine,, I used Cabernet Sauvignon or any Red wine of your choice. Wine is optional, you can leave it out,, but it does add a lot of flavor. If you leave it out add some water to the pan to loosen up the drippings.
Deglaze the Pan with the wine until its almost cooked off.
Add:
1- 28oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
To taste:
Parsley, Italian Seasoning and Basil.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes. After 30 minutes check your seasonings.
This is a thick sauce,,, if it starts to stick to the pan add just a little bit of water. You do not want a sauce that has to much liquid. The Zucchini will add some liquid to the sauce.
In a Non-stick Skillet add a little bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add:
1 lb. Sliced Mushrooms.
To taste sprinkle with:
Ground Fresh Pepper, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder.
Saute until; golden brown and done. Place the mushrooms into a bowl and Blot dry with Paper Towels.

Prepare the Spinach: Defrost, thaw and drain:
1-16 oz Frozen package of Chopped Spinach.
Squeeze the Spinach completely between a towel to remove all the liquid. Very important to remove the excess water.

Prepare the Vegetable Filling:
In a medium bowl add the Mushrooms and Spinach, Mix gently with a fork. Add 2 TBL. Gluten Free Flour to coat the vegetables. This will help absorb the any moisture. Add in some dry Garlic Powder.

To make the Cheese Filling:
In a medium Bowl using a Rubber Spatula combine together
1-1/2 lbs Ricotta Cheese
1-1/4 Cups Parmesan Cheese
to taste: Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper and Parsley
add Two Eggs and mix well.

Shred up 1-1/2 lbs of Fresh Mozzarella cheese into a bowl. (Save remaining ½ lb for the end)
Assemble your Lasagna:
Spray a deep 9X15 Pan with Cooking Spray
Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom on the pan
Add First layer ~ 1/3 of the Zucchini Slices on top of the sauce its okay to over lap them.
Lightly (Very lightly) Using a small colander sprinkle on Gluten Free Flour on top of the Zucchini. You only need about 2 Tbls of Gluten Free Flour. This will help to absorb any moisture.
Add all the Ricotta/Parmesan Mixture and spread out evenly
Add a second layer of Zucchini again lightly sprinkling with Gluten Free Flour
Add 1/3 more Sauce,, spread out
Top with the Mushroom and Spinach Layer,, spread out evenly.
Add ½ of the Mozzarella Cheese
Add Third layer of Zucchini again lightly sprinkling with Gluten Free Flour
Add remaining Sauce
Optional: Top with 12-15 Slices of Fresh Whole Basil Leave
Top with the remainding of the Mozzarella Cheese

Bake in a preheated 350* oven. Place the Lasagna Pan on rack above a cookie sheet just in case it spills. Check after 30 minutes. You may want to Shred the Remaining Mozzarella Cheese and sprinkle on top. Bake an additional 20 minutes. Or about a total of 55 minutes. I did not have to cover the Lasagna!
Remove pan from the oven. Turn on the Broiler.
Broil for 1-2 minutes just until the Cheese is Golden Brown. Keep a close eye on it so the cheese doesn't burn.
Cool for 30-45 minutes. This helps to set the Cheese.
This lasagna was absolutely delicious and was not watery. While there are many steps for the Zucchini Recipe they help to make your lasagna not watery.



ENJOY!!


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2 comments:

  1. looks good, does this freeze well, for future use,would you thaw it or cook from frozen?

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    1. Hi,, sorry for the delay in my reply. Yes you can freeze it,, I cover it with several layers of Plastic Wrap then tin foil. I do not thaw it. I place it in a preheated oven 350* until nice and hot. I wouldn't microwave it. Thanks for checking out my recipe, ENJOY!!

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