I’m a sucker for lasagna. Well just all Italian food really…and Italians. Basically anything that is related to Italians or their food, you can’t really go wrong. Spring is here and so are zucchinis so ain’t nobody got time for pasta!
On my quest to get some more veggies into my diet (and my husband’s), I’ve been trying to find more creative ways to use zucchini while they are in season.
Buying in season fruit and veg is a little different here in Oaxaca. When it’s out of season, it’s out of season. You can kiss that sweet little produce goodbye until it’s in season again. While modern markets are super convenient, sometimes they make you forget that not everything is in season all the time.
Sure certain produce goes on sale once in a while when it’s in season, but even if it’s not, it’s still always there. If I wanted to buy a mango in Washington could I? Of course! Are they in season? Never. I’m lucky that here in Oaxaca, there is an in season for mangos (and it’s about here!!) but for other things there’s not. Squash for example.
I love me some squash! Spaghetti squash, acorn squash, butternut squash are all FREAKING delicious. But unfortunately in Oaxaca there is no ‘in season’ for squash. If I’m lucky I’ll find it only at a grocery store (in comparison to a local market) only around Halloween time and it will be sold as a “Fantasy Pumpkin”. Fantasy pumpkin???….Yeah as in a magic pumpkin. Squash don’t grow here because it’s way to warm, so many people have no idea what they are or that they are even edible. That’s why squash are sold as “fantasy pumpkins” because they are seen as magic pumpkins used for decoration only. Here’s a side note: people think it’s weird when I ask around Halloween time for their decorations so I can eat them.
Anywho… the point is to enjoy seasonal produce when it’s in season. And one of my favs right now is zucchini and it’s in season!! This scrumptious lasagna is brought to you by these awesome zucchinis and is a low-carb, veg-filled version of an Italian favorite. And who doesn’t like Italians!…I mean their food…yeah who doesn’t love Italian food.
This homemade marinara recipe includes ground meat. If you are a meat hater it would still taste delicious without it or meatless substitute. Or hell just add more veg!!
3 medium zucchini
12 oz (or about 2 cups) of cottage cheese
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 pound ground meat (I personally prefer chorizo but any will work)
1/2 onion diced
4 roma tomatoes diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tbs oregano
1 tbs basil
3 1/2 cups tomato puree
1 tbs salt (more for taste)
- Slice zucchinis about 1/4 inch thick or thinner. Place a paper towel on a plate and line it with the sliced zucchini. Sprinkle with salt. Continue to layer paper towel, zucchini and salt and set aside. This will help to drain some of the water from the zucchini.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan cook ground meat over medium heat. After it is fully cooked add onion, tomato, garlic, oregano and basil. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
- Next, stir in tomato puree and let simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Once sauce is finished, add a thin layer of it to the bottom of 9×9 baking dish. Layer with zucchini, cottage cheese, cheese and sauce in that order. Continue to layer until all zucchini is used.
- Top with more cheese and cover with foil, only closing off two sides so that steam can escape. Place covered lasagna on a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Enjoy!