If you have ever planted zucchini, you know the plants do really well on the West Coast and if you don’t pick them fast enough they “explode” overnight and become dinosaur size. This recipe is a terrific way to use up some of your garden’s zucchini. If you don’t have a garden you can purchase zucchini at your local markets very reasonable in August.
I have used meat in this recipe but my favourite new way of making this recipe is by drying and crumbling tofu. It is delicious and very easy to digest.
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef , chicken or turkey or firm tofu substitute crumbled
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- Black pepper and Sea Salt (1/4 tsp. each)
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can sliced mushrooms
- 1 18 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thick
- 15 oz Goat Feta, crumpled or part-skim ricotta
- 8 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese or old style cheddar, shredded
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
In a Dutch oven, brown meat or scrambled tofu and season with salt. If you are using tofu make sure it is extra firm. You will want to rinse and drain it first. Wrap in paper towel to get out any extra water then crumble with your hands.When cooked drain in colander to remove any fat. Sauté garlic and onions in same pan until onion is caramelized. minutes. Return the meat or scrambled tofu to the pan, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, drained mushrooms, peppers , fresh basil, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for at least 30-40minutes, covered.
Meanwhile, slice zucchinis into 1/8″ thick slices (you can try a knife but a Mandolin makes it easier and safer)
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a medium bowl mix either goat feta or ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and egg. Stir well.
In a 9 x 1 2 casserole spread some sauce on the bottom and layer the zucchini to cover. Then place some of the ricotta cheese mixture, then top with the mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up. Top with sauce , mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and cover with foil.
Cook for 45 minutes then remove foil for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.