Squash lasagne – I’m in heaven!

You may be wondering why the picture accompanying this post is of giant patty pan squash. Well…we had some rain and the garden plants really loved it, and I didn’t go out there for a few days, and…next thing I knew the patty pans had become mutant squash! It gave me an idea I’ve been wanting to try. Since I can’t have pasta :-( I thought I’d try making lasagne using squash strips instead of noodles.

I hopped on the internet and found the following recipe on allrecipes.com. It is fabulous! The meat sauce alone is worth making, and you could use it for any italian-type recipe. I’m thinking of making the sauce and doing stuffed peppers next. The nice thing about making your own marinara/meat sauce is you don’t have to use sugar. I haven’t found a packaged sauce yet that doesn’t include sugar.

So I have quite a bit of giant squash, and my plan is to dehydrate it all before it goes bad, then re-hydrate to make future lasagne dishes. I’m just cutting it into fairly thin slices and salting it to get some of the moisture out. It doesn’t matter if the strips are kind of mushy when they re-hydrate…it all gets mushy when you bake the lasagne.

Have fun making low-carb lasagne!

2 large zucchini
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 cup tomato paste
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
hot water as needed
1 egg
1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

1.    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a deep 9×13 inch baking pan.
2.    Slice zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices. Sprinkle slices lightly with salt; set aside to drain in a colander.
3.    To prepare the meat sauce, cook and stir ground beef and black pepper in a large skillet over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add in green pepper and onion; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste, tomato sauce, wine, basil, and oregano, adding a small amount of hot water if sauce is too thick. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
4.    Meanwhile, stir egg, ricotta, and parsley together in a bowl until well combined.
5.    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 all of the mushrooms, then 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.
6.    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


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