Growing up Italian I loved my pasta (ok, let's be real I still do!) However, as we get, umm older our bodies may not take to pasta like it used to. I mean I was always a little chubbier growing up, and I am sure the pasta and bread had something to do with it (along with many other unhealthy habits) but when you are younger it can be easier to 'burn off' whereas now as I have just hit the big 4-0, not so much!
So on my quest to make over some of my beloved traditional Italian recipes here comes Zucchini Lasagna! I hope I didn't lose you yet, stick with me here as it is quite tasty!
Honestly, now that I have cut back on refined carbs I must say that I enjoy this version much more! I don't have that bloated rock in my stomach feeling that I usually get with regular pasta.
Now maybe regular pasta treats you just fine - lucky you! However, this is the healthier alternative as you are getting in a host of veggies with nutrients and your blood sugar will not spike and drop dramatically where you will feel the need to eat again shortly after.
I was able to stick with minimal ingredients (like I usually do) but this one is a small labor of love as you have to thinly slice the zucchini into lasagna like sheets. I just used my very sharp knife and it worked just fine. Diced eggplant with crushed tomatoes is the filling along with fresh ricotta cheese. You can opt to use a vegan option like my vegan ricotta cheese.
Start with layering the zucchini, spread the cheese and add the eggplant filling and then repeat. Top with a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella or here I used Miyokos vegan mozzarella cheese to melt on top.
I prepped this on Sunday and covered it in the fridge until later that evening and then baked it right before dinner. Takes about 40 minutes. Plus we had leftovers for the next night - so dinner for 2 nights! You can pair with a salad and voila! Kids tested by my son - bless his heart as he tries everything that I make - and he liked it! As always, no go with my teenage daughter, sigh....
Don't forget to share with me on Instagram when you make it! It truly makes my day!
1 large eggplant, peeled and diced into bite-size cubes
2-3 large zucchini, ends removed, cut lengthwise into thin slices
2 cups no sugar added crushed tomatoes (I use this brand)
2 cups ricotta cheese (or vegan ricotta cheese)
2 tbs olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Fresh herbs for seasoning (parsley, basil..)
Shredded mozzarella for topping (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375f
2. Spray 8x8 pan liberally
3. Heat oil in large skillet then add diced eggplant and season with salt & pepper. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently until softened.
4. Add crushed tomatoes and heat through.
5. Layer zucchini to cover the bottom of the dish. (overlapping is ok)
6. Spread 1 cup of ricotta over zucchini and 1.5 cups of eggplant mixture
7. Top with the second layer of zucchini (running opposite direction of the first layer).
8. Spread remaining ricotta cheese and eggplant mixture (leaving about 1/2 cup for top layer)
9. Add the final layer of zucchini, top with remaining eggplant mixture and sprinkle with cheese (if desired)
10. Cook for 30-40 minutes until heated through.
11. Let it cool and set about 10 minutes before slicing.