Today, I learned something new—”lasagna” is the American spelling of the delicious pasta dish and “lasagne” is the Italian way. Since I want to reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates in our diets, I decided not to use the traditional pasta noodle. Instead, I used healthy sliced zucchini. I found that slicing the zucchini using the mandoline was less time-consuming than cooking the pasta. Also, I used sweet Italian chicken sausage. I just added a little more fennel and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes for extra “kick.” Well, I am pleased to say that my dish was a success in taste and reducing the carbs! This non-pasta version is going to be regular meal in our diets.
- 1 pound Trader Joe’s Sweet Chicken Italian Sausage or Italian turkey sausage
- 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon organic dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon organic dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 zucchini (8 to 9 inches long), sliced lengthwise ¼-inch thick.
- ½ pound part-skim shredded light mozzarella cheese
- ½ pound low-fat cottage cheese
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large nonstick frying pan, brown the chicken sausage until it is no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces. Drain any excess fat.
- Using a 3 quart pan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, sausage, oregano, basil, fennel, red pepper flakes and parsley. Cover and simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Add pepper to taste. (To have a less watery dish, I would cook the sauce until almost all the liquid is gone. The zucchini contains a lot of water and the baking process will bring out more liquid).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9” x 13” lasagna baking dish with oil.
- Spread a little sauce over the bottom of the dish. Cover with 7 zucchini slices, spread half the mozzarella and cottage cheeses and sprinkle with one-third of Parmesan cheese. Then add one-third of sauce, just enough to cover. Repeat with zucchini and cheeses. Finally, add the third layer of zucchini, followed by remaining sauce and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake uncovered for about 50 to 60 minutes, until zucchini is tender. Take out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve hot. 10 servings.