End of summer -> lots of zucchini. Stash that squash in lasagna, make lots, and freeze it for later. Sounds like a good idea, but flat-sliced zucchini “noodles” are more mush than noodle, watery and straight up gross.
- Roast the squash
- Use no-boil noodles
- Make medium batches in foil pans and freeze
No boil lasagna noodles are less of a pain and less bulky than regular noodles. You don’t need to parboil them, they can just go straight into the sauce/cheese dry.
I ain’t got no pictures of said lasagna, since I wrote this blog after making it. But I do have lots of zucchini and its brethren (crookneck and white scallop squash). It is overrunning my house. So action must be taken. I will take pictures during the next cook an post them if I remember. But I will outline the method and recipe here.
Zucchini Lasagna with Real Noodles
- Olive Oil (Light, not extra virgin, or other high smoke point oil)
- 6-8 medium zucchini, cut into ~1/2″ cubes (or 4-5 of the big homegrown suckers)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 28-oz can tomato sauce
- 14-oz can tomato sauce
- can tomato paste
- ~1-1/2 lbs ground beef (I grind pot-roast on course grind, single pass)
- Tub-O-cottage cheese (FU Ricotta wallpaste)
- Box no-boil lasagna
- 2 tablespoons water
- Nutmeg (whole, not that weak pre-ground stuff)
- Red pepper flake
- Garlic powder to taste ~1-2 tsp
- Something green like basil or oregano to taste ~2 tsp
- A pile of (1 cup?) freshly grated Parmesan (not the cheap power shit, the real deal, or Romano or Asiago)
- Mozzarella block grated (part skim is fine, but the block and grate, no pre-grated talc covered dry ass cheese)
- 2x foil pans, the deep square ones like 5″x7″x3.5″ deep or so
For the squash
- Toss squash in a large bowl with oil
- Season with salt and pepper
- Roast in oven @375 till just done. Maybe 20 min, but I never really time it. Just don’t stir it. Leave it in place on the pan so it can develop some color on the bottom. If you go stirrin it up, even once, it will just steam itself into zucchini mush.
- Pull when done and let cool while working on other stuff (i.e. sauce)
For the sauce
- Heat sauce pot to pretty hot, and brown ground beef. Again, don’t go stirring much. Let it basically cook without moving it about till near the end. You’ve done it right if the beef has browned. If it is all just pale grey you are stirring it too much / overcrowding the pan / heat is too low or some combination.
- Stir together tomato sauces and paste in a pot and heat to simmer or just to hot. Usually you’ll need to heat everything to get the past to mix with the sauce. Also, it is hard to taste if your seasonings are correct when everything is room temp.
- Add some garlic powder, onion powder, basil/oregano, salt and pepper to taste
For the cheese
- Toss mozzarella with garlic powder, herbs and nutmeg
In each foil pan, going from bottom to top, layer
- Sauce (thin)
- Single bed of noodles, snap them to fit but try to use as many full sized noodles a possible
- Cottage cheese
- Repeat the layers (noodles, cheese, squash, sauce, cheese)
- Add another layer of noodles
- End with a layer of sauce topped with cheeses
- Cover foil pans with aluminum foil
- Either bake at 365 or 40 min or freeze for later
- After 40 min bake, uncover and bake for another 10 min or until top is browned and everything is bubbly and cooked through