When I think of lasagna, a few memories rush to mind…
I remember visiting my grandparents on winter breaks and opening their freezer to boxes of Stouffer’s Lasagna. In between breaks from playing Barbies and Briarberry bears (did anyone else play with these?!) I would tear open a red cardboard box and pop that plastic try of noodles, cheese, and marinara sauce in the microwave. A few minutes later, BAM, piping hot lasagna waiting for me to eat before blissfully going back to playing make believe.
I also remember Mike picking me up in the first few months of us dating for dinner in North Beach, the Italian district in San Francisco. We went to a cozy little restaurant and sat at a table for two by the window. I ordered the lasagna and probably broke some dating “rule” by finishing every last bite. Who can resist melty cheese and carbohydrates? Not this girl.
Lastly, I distinctly remember the first time I made my own lasagna and packed it with as many veggies as I could. Carrots in the sauce! Spinach in the ricotta! (Arguably healthier than the Stouffer’s and North Beach variety.) Bless Mike for eating my cooking without complaint!
My point is, I love me some good layered lasagna! But it’s a dish that screams WINTER. I wanted to lighten it up for the warmer months and knew replacing the noddles with lighter zucchini would do the trick!
Summer Style Zucchini Lasagna
Prep time: 20 minutes – Cook time: 40 minutes – Servings: 2
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 – 7 small zucchini sliced in long thin pieces*
- 4 – 5 small ripe JUICY tomatoes (if you can’t find any, a strained can of fire-roasted tomatoes will do
- 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup roughly chopped spinach
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
* Important step: after you slice the zucchini, place the stripes on paper towels for ~20 minutes to absorb some of the water *
- Sauté the minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant
- Add mushrooms and tomatoes (getting all of the seeds and juice in there to give it more of a sauce consistency)
- While your sauce is cooking, add chopped spinach to ricotta and mix well
- After mushrooms and tomatoes are cooked, spread a thin layer on the bottom of a pan (I used a small enough one for two but the size will depend on how much you’re making)
- Layer zucchini slices on top of sauce and then the spinach and ricotta cheese mixture
- Top with mushrooms and tomatoes
- Repeat 3/4 times, depending on how many zucchini you have
- Top with parmesan cheese
- Bake at 350 for 40 minutes