WHAT? Pasta free lasagna? Are you nuts? I know that’s what you are all thinking, but bear with me.
I know so many people are sticking to their New Years Resolutions of eating healthy, but they are longing for the warm, cheesy, rich gooey-ness of their favorite comfort foods. Mr. just finished a 10 day cleanse, and we are slowing adding things back into his diet. He missed cheese, so I set to find a recipe that contains cheese that I could make a little more healthy by omitting some of the other things that he isn’t quite ready to add back in (meat and lots of heavy carbs). I did make spaghetti to go on the side, but you can skip that if you want.
We had a bag of yellow squash in the fridge, so I decided to make lasagna using the squash in the place of the lasagna noodles.
With this recipe, you can add as many veggies as you want. I opted for mire poix (I had bags of it prepped in the freezer), garlic, shallots, tomatoes, and little pieces of the squash that I chopped into bite size pieces. These were the neck or end that I couldn’t cut into planks. I recommend that you use what you’ve got on hand that you really like. You can add ricotta between the layers, but I skipped it because we didn’t have any, and Mr. isn’t ready to add eggs back in yet (if you’ve never made lasagna before, the ricotta filling is a mixture of egg, Parmesan cheese, and ricotta).
This recipe makes a big 9×13 inch baking dish- There will be leftovers!
Pasta Free Lasagna
- 4 yellow or green crooked neck squash (zucchini), cut into planks, Reserve remaining pieces for sauce
- 1 jar sugar free pasta sauce (or use your favorite)
- 2 medium onions or 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 can (approx. 14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 T. Italian seasonning
- 2 T. Olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup parmesaen cheese
- 2 cups Italian blend cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large stock pot, saute onions, celery, and carrots in olive oil until onions are soft and translucent.
- Add garlic and shallots, reduce heat. Cook until garlic and shallots are soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Burnt garlic is gross.
- Pour wine over veggies and scrape any yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pot. This is called De-glazing the pan. Those brown bits are full of flavor.
- Add pasta sauce, herbs, and both cans of tomatoes (diced and paste). Cook on medium for 15-20 minutes. If you want, you can simmer the sauce on low for as long as you want. Make sure to stir frequently and put a lid on the pot.
- Add reserved squash bits to sauce. They will cook quickly, so you need to add them last.
- Remove from heat.
- Ladle sauce in the bottom of the 9×13 baking dish, just enough to cover the bottom of the dish.
- Cover the sauce with planks of squash, then layer cheese, and sauce. repeat until the pan is full- the top layer should be cheese. If you like lots of cheese, use more than the 2 1/2 cups listed above.
- Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350. after 20 minutes, uncover pan and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes.
- Serve with salad and a small portion of whole wheat pasta. I made whole wheat pasta and topped it with a dollop of Chef Shamy Garlic Butter. It’s amazing.
Variations: This meal is already vegetarian and gluten free. If you are vegan, use dairy free cheese. I cannot promise it will be as gooey and delicious, as I’m not familiar with how dairy free cheese cooks.
If you just gotta have meat, start by sauteing 1 lb of ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, or turkey), then continue the recipe as written.