Zucchini Lasagna With Ground Beef
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- 20 ounces zucchini (about 2 large or 3 medium, peeling is unnecessary)
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef (95% lean is ideal, no less than 90% to avoid a greasy wet dish)
- 15 ounces canned unsalted tomato sauce (check the ingredients label to make sure no salt is listed)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 small onion)
- 1 1/2 cups (5oz) shredded mozzarella cheese (I use low moisture part skim)
- 1/2 cup (2.2oz) finely grated parmesan cheese (should be powder-like, finer than sand)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- Making the meat sauce:
- Heat a high-sided pan over medium heat until hot (I use a 10-inch wide nonstick pan with 3-inch high sides). Add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add ground beef to the pan. Cook until it's no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking it apart as it cooks.
- Add tomato sauce, stirring it in. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then gradually reduce the heat as needed to maintain a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken the sauce, stirring frequently. The resulting sauce should be thick, easily clinging to the meat and onions; this helps reduce excess moisture in the resulting lasagna.
- Add oregano, salt, and cayenne. Stir for a minute until well-mixed. Turn off the heat.
- Assembling and baking the lasagna:
- Position an oven rack in the lower half of the oven, and preheat to 375 F. Set aside an 8x8 inch baking dish.
- For each zucchini, slice off both ends and discard them. Stand the zucchini vertically on a stable flat end, and carefully slice along its length into 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick strips. Don't worry if the slices aren't perfect because it won't affect the deliciousness of the lasagna.
- Arrange about one-third of the zucchini slices along the bottom of the baking dish so that they are slightly overlapping in a criss-cross pattern. Evenly spread about half of the meat sauce over the zucchini. Distribute about 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese on top of the meat sauce.
- Repeat with another zucchini layer, a meat sauce layer, and a cheese layer.
- Top with remaining zucchini slices. Add another 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese on top of the zucchini. Give the baking dish a quick shake so the cheeses spread out and settle into cracks.
- Bake uncovered at 375 F until the lasagna is golden brown on top, about 45 minutes. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes to allow the lasagna to set and cease bubbling before slicing.