AKA, “a compromise.” It’s no secret how much I love pasta, but sometimes you’ve gotta find a middle ground. This replaces noodles with baked parmesan-dusted zucchini strips (which honestly, I would eat as a snack on their own, because they were fantastic), adds protein with some ground turkey, reheats amazingly well and will keep for a few days, too. It’s a perfect make-ahead meal which you can then just throw into the oven and have it ready in 30-40 minutes flat. AND i used a mandoline for the first time and didn’t slice off one or more of my fingers, so you know, win/win.
ZUCCHINI LASAGNA WITH GROUND TURKEY (serves 6)
– 4 zucchini, mandolined into approx. 1/4 inch flat strips
– 1 lb. ground turkey
– 1 small vidalia onion
– 3 tbsp. EVOO
– 2 cups pasta sauce
– 12 oz. shredded mozzarella
– 2 cups italian breadcrumbs
– 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Wash the zucchini, then slice it into 1/4 inch flat strips (uniform size). Lay all the zucchini on paper towels, then sprinkle with kosher salt. Let sit for about 15 minutes, then flip and sprinkle the other side with kosher salt, let that sit for 15 minutes too. This will drain out a ton of water and you won’t end up with soggy zucchini lasagna.
3. Rinse the salt off the zucchini and dry really well. Coat with a tiny bit of olive oil.
4. Combine about 1/3 c. parmesan and the bread crumbs. Coat each slice of zucchini with the breadcrumb mixture, then place in one layer on (a couple of) baking sheets which you’ve sprayed with baking spray.
5. Bake zucchini for about 30 minutes, flipping once, until golden and fairly crispy.
6. While zucchini is cooking, dice the onion. Cook in 1 tbsp. EVOO until onion is translucent in a large pan over medium heat. Remove onion and set aside, then cook the turkey in the same pan until browned and cooked through. Remove and combine with the onion.
7. In a lasagna pan, dot a bit of sauce to make a thin bottom layer. Place one layer of zucchini on top of the sauce like you would place noodles, then add a layer of the turkey/onion. Sprinkle mozzarella & parm over the top of this.
8. Repeat this sequence: sauce, zucchini, turkey/onion, mozz/parm, until you’ve reached the end of the zucchini. Add a little more sauce and the rest of the mozz/parm.
9. Bake, covered, for about 15 minutes, then uncover and cook for another 15 or so, or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted and golden.
10. Let stand for 10 minutes, then cut and serve, preferably on a table with the gorgeous 2-for-$5 bunches of flowers you got at the farmer’s market.