My Italian roots are kickin' in!
This was delish. My great-aunt would shake her head in dismay if she knew I was 'replacing' lasagna noodles with zucchini. I ain't gunna tell her. She would make THE BEST lasagna when I was little. I've honestly not been craving lasagna or noodles, but I again have SO much Pat LaFreida meat I was brainstorming what I could do with it all.. which is probably also why I wasn't smart enough to think "maybe I should just make a 8x8" pyrex dish worth of lasagna and not a 9x13" so I'm not eating it for breakfast/lunch/dinner for the next week". Good thing I don't dislike eating yummy things over and over and over and over again. And good think I don't mind eating beef for breakfast... Speaking of which... I was in a rush getting to the studio this morning, so I took a package of beef jerky with me to eat on the subway- turns out, that is not normal. I got weird looks. HA, so funny.
Anyway, this recipe is a monster, not going to lie to ya, it takes a while to put together and to bake. If you're one of those people that tends to follow a recipe and when it says "prep time" it actually takes you that amount of time and not two times longer (like its takes me), then you'll prep this dish in half the time. I'm a slow prepper. Also- I used both sausage and beef due to the fact that A) I have loads, and B) they're just SO good together, especially the textures and the 2 spicy sausage I added created a bit of a kick together with the jalapeños.
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
1 medium/large yellow onion
4 tablespoons olive oil (separated- 2 and 1 and 1)
4 teaspoons chopped garlic (separated- 2 and 2)
4 large zucchinis
2 jalapenos finely chopped
4 6oz burgers
2 spicy, 2 italian sausages (AKA 2.5lbs of meat, dear lord that's a lot)
1 tbsp chopped rosmary
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1/2 C fresh chopped basil
4 handfuls fresh spinach
2 tbsp chopped sundried tomatos
3oz sliced mushrooms
1 jar organic no added sugar tomato sauce
salt n peppa
1. Put your (large) pan on medium heat with 2 tbsp olive oil and add your chopped onions and 2 tsp garlic. Cook for 10ish minutes until they're translucent- before they get browned. Stir regularly.
2. Preheat oven to 375!
3. While this is happening, combine your your meat in a large bowl and add your spices and chopped jalapeno, chopped basil, sundried tomatoes, and 2 tsp garlic. Get chur hands dirty and smoosh it all around!
4. Once your onions are done, turn the heat off and finely slice your zucchini. This is the hardest part.. seriously. I don't have a super awesome mandolin slicer, so a sharp knife was my best bet. It's easiest to cut the zucchini in half first so you then have two small zucchinis to work with!
5. Your onions should have cooled off by now. Add them into your meat bowl along with 3oz (half a carton) of sliced mushrooms, and get them hands dirty again! Everything combines nicer when you smoosh it all together in the bowl before you add it to the large pan.
6. Put your pan back on medium heat and dump your meat bowl in. Using your spatula, every so often move your meat around and chop it up in order for it to cook evenly. This should take about 15 minutes.. just let it go until your meats cooked.
7. Just before your meat is done, add 2 cups of your tomato sauce and mix.
8. Use a tablespoon of olive oil and coat your pyrex dish.
9. Cover your pyrex with one layer of zucchini "noodles" LOL zucchini=noodles HA, then lightly sprinkle salt and pepper your zucchini.
10. Use a slotted serving spoon/spatula to remove your meat. (You want to leave as much liquid /meat fat behind as possible). Layer the meat on.
11. Layer on some spinach.
12. Another layer of zucchini, then lightly salt n peppa.
13. Mo' meat.
14. S'more spinach.
15. The last layer of zucchini (s+p)
16. Then, using a spatula, spread around the last of the tomato sauce. 16. Bake for 40 minutes.
18. Serve and be merry ; )