I overheard somone talking about “noodle replacements” in their lasagna recipes one day. I never had really even thought about NOT using noodles in one of THEE most delicious Italian dishes ever to be created. I mean, how is some stupid vegetable going to satisfy me the way those flat curly sultans of semolina do?
Boy, was I wrong. Between the creamy ricotta, meaty flavors from the mushrooms and ground turkey, you really, truly don’t miss those floppy things at ALL!
Experiment with your own veggies! Try eggplant, broccoli or even, dare I say, sweet potatoes? The possibilities are endless. As I am writing this a friend of mine is telling me about a family member who makes a lasagna like this with cabbage! How novel! So get at it kids, and try this. You (and your waistline) will be glad you did!
3-4 Large green zucchinis
3-4 Yellow Squash
1/2 cup sliced baby portabello mushrooms
1 whole sweet vidalia onion, diced
1 jar of tomato sauce (whatever brand you like, just check the label for high fructose corn syrup or sugar)
2 cups part skim mozzarella cheese
1-16oz container of part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 lb ground turkey or chicken
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh chopped Italian parsley
2 tbsp. fresh chopped basil
red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. minced garlic cloves
Preheat oven to 375.
Slice all of the squash and zucchini into thin discs (about 1/4 of an inch think) This will take the place of the noodles in the lasagna. Roast the squash and zucchini in the oven with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil at 375 for about 15 minutes (or until tender).
Brown diced onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Set aside. Brown ground turkey/chicken. Add onions, garlic and sliced mushrooms to the meat. Combine well and cook until mushrooms are tender. Mix 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese with the container of ricotta cheese, basil, spinach, parsley, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt together. Set aside.
In a casserole dish/pan, ladle tomato sauce and spread along the bottom of the pan.
Begin lasagna by layering (in this order) zucchini and squash, meat mixture, cheese mixture, repeat. I like to make mine at least 2 full layers. Top with tomato sauce.
Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered until cheese is melted.
Note: The longer it sits, the better! All those veggies release quite a bit of water, even after they’ve been roasted. If you let it sit for at least 20 minutes, it’ll be easy to cut and more “lasagna-like!”