So, I have no picture of this one today. I last made it over two weeks ago and I forgot to take a picture then. I was just watching Food Network and the host of the hour was cooking lasagna. I wanted to blog my current recipe for it. I owe part of this recipe to my mother, and another part to my mother-in-law.
Oh, and if you don’t feel like using zucchini, you can up the meat content, or feel free to use different veggies. One thing I like, it is so versatile!
FYI — This recipe will fill your pan to the tippy-top!
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 small onion
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 1.5 lbs ground meat (I generally use turkey or beef)
- 1 can or jar of your favourite tomato sauce
- 1-2T brown sugar (based on tomato sauce, more acidic=more brown sugar)
- 1 box lasagna noodles
- 1 12-oz container sour cream (This takes the place of ricotta or cottage cheese and when cooked has the same flavour)
- Shredded Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Cut zucchini to 1/4″ pieces or smaller.
- Put water, a small amount of oil and some salt in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- When boiling, add noodles and let cook while you cook the rest, but be sure to remove when aldente.
- Put a small amount of oil in a large saucepan and put it on a burner set to low.
- Mince garlic in fine pieces and place in the oil and stir. This will release the aroma
- Chop onions into small pieces, sized to your preference.
- Put the onions in the pan and increase the temperature to medium.
- Once the onion is translucent, add the meat. Crumble the ground meat as it browns. Brown most of the way.
- Drain the grease off of the meat, then place back in the pan. Add zucchini and cook until the zucchini is mostly tender.
- Add the tomato sauce and the brown sugar and heat until bubbles. (The brown sugar cuts the acid.)
- Get your 9×13 baking pan and spread a ladle-full of sauce on the end.
- Put down a layer of noodles, being sure they overlap some
- Spread the sour cream on the noodles
- Add about 1/3 of the sauce
- Spread with desired amount of cheese
- Repeat steps 12 through 15 twice.
- Put in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is all melted and starts to bubble and turn golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cut into 12 pieces.
I think I would like to eventually add more vegetables to this recipe. I also didn’t put in a cheese amount because really it is up to you. I have seen people put 2lb on, some 1lb, and some barely add any cheese because they are on a diet. I also didn’t specify a type. I have used sharp cheddar, colby jack and mozzarella before. I have to say sharp cheddar is my favourite.
Yup, a very fatty food, generally one I pair with a large green salad (which usually involves shredded carrots), and occasionally with garlic bread as well. The sauce is from my mommy (tweaked with some zucchini) and the sour cream was a good idea I got from my mother-in-law. It is so much cheaper than buying the cottage cheese and ricotta. That really makes it so much more accessible to people with low budgets.
So a special thanks goes out to both mommies for their contributions to this recipe.
The zucchini was a flash of inspiration I had that my friend Annie went along with… we found it was a great flash of inspiration and increased the amount of veggies in this dish. I know, hiding veggies and enriching the texture. Sneaky sneaky… Which is why I might add carrots and peas or broccoli. Some more veggies is a good idea. Goodness knows I don’t get enough. Oh, and the garlic? Yeah, still addicted. I found out it is a good thing, since I am overweight (hence wanting to add more veggies and less cheese) and garlic is good for heart and artery health! So that is likely a reason my bp and hr are still really good.
Last time I made this recipe, I ran around for an hour afterward. Probably should have run around for an hour before, too. Maybe next time!
Good eating and I hope you enjoy this recipe.