Love this Grilled Zucchini Lasagna!!!
I never liked zucchini when I was younger (except for zucchini bread), but I have recently discovered there are certain ways I do like zucchini prepared. I think it's a textural thing for me. The zucchini in this lasagna is perfect - it takes on the texture of thin sheets of pasta! YUM!
The KitchenAid Vegetable Sheet Cutter Attachment makes it super easy to cut perfectly even and thin zucchini lasagna noodles. (If you do not have one, you can slice the zucchini lengthwise on a mandolin or slice as thinly as you can lengthwise with a knife.)
When I first tried a recipe for zucchini lasagna, I was so disappointed - it came out of the oven and was a soupy mess. I set about trying to create a recipe for "non-soupy" zucchini lasagna. On my first attempt, I tried salting the zucchini before assembling to reduce the moisture the zucchini would release while baking. It worked a little, but there was still quite a bit of liquid at the bottom of the casserole. The next time I made it, I salted and then grilled the zucchini sheets to further reduce the moisture - this was the ticket! It had just a little liquid* gather in the bottom of the dish, great to spoon out with each portion. (*I assume different zucchini may have variable moisture content depending upon where and when they are harvested.) The lasagna is also great for make ahead - it both reheats and freezes well!
Grilled Zucchini Lasagna Recipe:
Tina Verrelli – epicuricloud.com
1 teaspoon kosher salt
19-ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage (optional)
24-ounces prepared marinara sauce
24-ounces ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
8-ounces shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
Use KitchenAid Sheet Cutter Attachment with the “thick” slice blade to cut sheets of zucchini. Alternatively you could slice lengthwise with a mandolin slicer or slice as thinly as possible lengthwise with a knife.
Sprinkle the zucchini sheets with 1 teaspoon salt and place in a colander over a platter. Allow the zucchini to rest for 20-30 minutes to release some moisture. Rinse the zucchini and drain. Cut the zucchini into lengths that will fit your grill pan. Grill the zucchini for about 30 seconds on each side until the surface of the zucchini looks fairly dry and has some nice grill marks. This will help reduce the moisture amount in the zucchini. Lay them flat until ready to assemble.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the sausage from the casing and brown in a 12” skillet. Add marinara sauce to sausage and bring to a low simmer.
In a mixing bowl, stir together ricotta cheese Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and egg.
In 2 1/2-quart rectangular baking dish, spread a little marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish, add a layer of zucchini sheets. Spoon on some ricotta mixture and spread slightly. Add another layer of zucchini sheets perpendicular to the last zucchini sheets. (The criss-cross layering will add stability.) Spoon some of the marinara mixture over, then add another layer of zucchini sheets. Continue layering until you run out of ingredients or run out of pan space. Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted and browned. Allow to rest for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting.