Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lasagna Primavera

Do you ever wish you could enjoy the hearty, meaty taste of lasagna without the guilt?  Are you looking for a gluten free recipe? Low carb? Well, for me, this recipe is the result of my deep love for vegetables and my husband's dislike of lasagna noodles. If you don't want to go full vegetarian with this meal, you could add some browned Italian sausage that has been well drained, but I really would not recommend it. Simply let the vegetables speak for themselves and enjoy a dinner on the lighter side.

Marinara Sauce
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion, Finely Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
56 oz (weight) Crushed Tomatoes
Zucchini Noodles
4 Zucchini
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Vegetable Oil
"Meaty" Mushroom Filling
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
8 oz (weight) Button Mushrooms, Coarsely Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp Yellow Onion, Finely Chopped
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt
Ricotta Filling
4 Tbsp Part-Skim Ricotta
5.3 oz (weight) Plain Greek Yogurt
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
10 oz (weight) Frozen Spinach, Thawed/Drained
14 oz (weight) Canned Artichoke Hearts, Drained/Chopped
1 Cup Low Moisture Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Divided

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the seasonings to the onions and allow to cook for another 2 minutes. Carefully add the crushed tomatoes and sugar. Stir thoroughly. Cover and simmer on low for 1 hour. The sauce should reduce by half and become thickened. Set aside.
  2. While the sauce is cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients. Slice the zucchini 1/4-inch thick lengthwise to create long ribbons. Place the ribbons in a colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, tossing to coat both sides of the slices. Allow to sit in the colander for 10 minutes. This set allows the water to come out of the squash.
  3. Brush a large cookie sheet with 1/4 teaspoon oil. Remove the zucchini from the colander and blot on a paper towel to remove excess moisture and salt. Place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Brush over the top of the zucchini with the same brush used to oil the baking sheet; there is enough oil on the bristles to coat the tops.
  4. Place in a 400-degree, preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip over. Place back in the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes. When they are slightly brown, remove from the oven. Set aside to cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  5. To make the ricotta filling, combine the ricotta, Greek yogurt, eggs, Parmesan, and drained spinach. Stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  6. To make the “meaty” mushroom filling, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the coarsely chopped mushrooms, garlic, onion, and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  7. To assemble to lasagna, spoon 3 Tablespoons of marinara into the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish. Line with 1/3 of the zucchini slices, just as you would with noodles. Spoon 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the zucchini and smooth to create an even layer. Top with 1/2 of the mushrooms and 1/2 of the chopped artichoke hearts. Sprinkle 1/4 cup mozzarella over the mixture and then spook another 5 Tablespoons of marinara over the dish. Repeat the layering process again to create the second layer. Top with the final 1/3 of the zucchini strips and 1/2 cup mozzarella.
  8. Spray a large piece of aluminum foil with non-stick spray. Place the foil, sprayed side down, loosely on top of the baking dish. 
  9. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven. Tent with the foil and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Note: This recipe makes more marinara than you will need. I store the extra in a mason jar, covered, inside of the refrigerator. It is great for spaghetti, pizza, bread stick dipping sauce, and any recipe calling for marinara. The sauce stores well for up to a week.

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