This recipe puts a healthy twist on an Italian classic by swapping out noodles for fresh slices of zucchini; a substitution that keeps it all in the (food) family!
Zucchini (or zucchina if you’re talking about a single squash) is an Italian vegetable that was first brought over to the United States in the 1920s—but it was a staple of the cuisine even before then.
No matter the history, this dish is so good that it’s sure to be a beloved addition to future meals!
- 2 1/2 cups zucchini, sliced lengthwise, 1/4-inch thick (about 2 medium)
- 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can Ready-cut Italian stewed tomatoes
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian-leaf parsley
- Cooking Spray
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Cook zucchini until tender, drain on paper towels to absorb excess liquid and set aside.
- Cook ground beef, onions and garlic until meat is brown and vegetables are tender; drain fat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, water, salt and pepper, stirring to blend. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups.
- In small bowl slightly beat egg. Add ricotta cheese,1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and parsley; stir to blend.
- Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange one-third of meat mixture on bottom of dish. Layer one half of the zucchini slices over meat mixture. Spread one half of the ricotta cheese mixture over zucchini slices. Repeat with remaining ingredients ending with meat mixture. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining shredded mozarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serving size 1 piece.
This recipe comes from Inside Karen’s Kitchen.