Family meals can be challenging day in and day out; we’ve cut down on some of the stress with the kids doing the weekly menu planning. One thing that always makes the board is lasagna.
If I have my act together, I carve out enough time to make fresh pasta. My cheater version is to substitute zucchini ribbons for the noodles. These days the cheater version is the preferred choice— it’s easier, gluten free, the kids are eating veggies and it uses up what we have in the garden.
Winner, winner not chicken for dinner!
I like to use my handy Microplane hand mandolin to slice the ribbons or you can use a really outstanding veggie peeler. I make these in individual ramekins, but an 8 x 8 pan would work as well. I think part of the appeal for my girls is their own little dish.
1 eight ounce fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1 recipe pink sauce
Trim the end of the zucchinis and slice very thin long-ways using a mandolin or a veggie peeler. Discard the first and last slices. Lay out the zucchini ribbons on a cookie sheet (you’ll need two) and sprinkle pieces liberally with kosher salt. This is an important step because it releases the moisture so you don’t get watery lasagna – trust me. Set aside at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour. Remove the ribbons from the sheet and dry with clean kitchen towels pressing slightly to dry. You will see for yourself how much water is released, it’s pretty crazy.
Preheat oven to 375.
Add a tablespoon or so of sauce to each ramekin (mine are 5” rounds). Next, add the ribbons so it covers the bottom on the ramekin in a even layer. You can trim the zucchini so they fit nicely. Followed by an even layer of cheese – it doesn’t have to be perfectly covered—followed by a large spoonful of sauce. Repeat this layering three times, alternating the direction of the zucchini. Sprinkle each ramekin with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Bake on a cookie sheet in a 375 oven for 30 minutes or until golden, bubbly and warm throughout.