Zucchini Lasagna with Homemade Bolognese Sauce
- 2 large zucchini
- 1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
Makes: 8-10 cups
- 1 pound ground buffalo or grass-fed lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, minces
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- ½ pound of crimi or button mushroom, sliced
- 2-16 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SAUCE:
- In a medium-sized sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When the pan is warm add the onions, stir and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add in the grated carrots and sauté until the onions caramelize – about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir until the garlic becomes fragrant, and golden.
- Add the ground buffalo meat, cook and stir for 5 minutes.
- Add in the zucchini and mushrooms. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low, cooking the vegetables until mushrooms become tender.
- Add in the tomatoes, stir then cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Add in the spices, salt and pepper. Stir, cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. If you enjoy a thicker sauce, uncover and stir every so often for about 30 minutes – until some of the liquid evaporates.
FOR THE LASAGNA:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray or lightly grease with olive oil
- Slice the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices. Place in a bowl of water and set aside – this keeps the zucchini from browning.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, lemon juice, and parsley together until well combines.
- To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the meat sauce into the bottom of prepared pan. Then layer 1/2 the zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, all of the spinach, followed by 1/2 the mozzarella cheese. Repeat by layering the remaining meat sauce, zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, and mozzarella. Spread Parmesan cheese evenly over the top; cover with foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil; raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.