Before you start, things you'll need...
Oven (preheated to 400)
Sharp knife- for chopping onion/herbs/garlic
Mandolin (or knife) to slice zucchini
Cheese graterSmall bowl & mixing spoon
Baking sheet & parchment paper/ non stick liner (for roasting veggies)
5 quart sauté pan with lid (a saucepan works, try to get a larger one for more saute surface area)
Spoon to stir/sauté/spoon sauce into baking dish
8 x 8 baking dish- can always do round, rectangle, whatever you have-just not too wide, you don’t want thin layers
· 2 large or 3 smaller zucchini (enough for 3 layers)
· 1c fresh whole milk ricotta
· 1 ½ c fresh grated whole or part skim low-moisture mozzarella divided into 2 portions (NOT fresh mozzarella, too much liquid will be released and the zucchini in the recipe releases water too)
· ½ c grated parmesean
· 1 chunk of parmesean rind (2 sq in approx.)
· 1 egg yolk
· 1 ½ tbsp fresh chopped parsley
· 1 can fire roasted organic tomatoes
· 1 c cherry tomatoes
· ½ c baby Bella mushrooms (increase to 2c if you're leaving the meat out!)
· ½ large onion (or 1 small onion)
· 2 shallots
· 2 cloves garlic
· 1 lb ground pork
· ½ tsp dried oregano
· Avocado or olive oil for veggies/ sautéing (try to avoid canola or other vegetable oils, they’re high in omega 6 inflammatory fatty acids)
· Sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400
Toss tomatoes and mushrooms in oil, roast veggies for 15-20 min until tomatoes are blistered and caramelized /mushrooms have released liquid. (Depending on the size of the mushrooms, might need to cook them for less or more time.) When done, remove from oven and cool, then slice- this can be done in advance.
Slice zucchini into 1/8 in thick slices- can use a mandolin to make this easier- will be dividing these to use for 3 layers of lasagna
Chop onion, garlic, and shallot- also can be done ahead of time
Sautee onion, garlic, and shallot in your sauté pan or saucepan in ½ tbsp oil until translucent
Add ground pork (if using- can sub for anything- to make vegetarian increase the roasted mushrooms!), break up and sauté until cooked through
Add can of roasted tomatoes without draining, oven roasted cherry tomatoes, and sliced roasted mushrooms to your sauté pan- cook covered for 20 min on low/med low (depending on your stove, should be at a barely simmer) to let the flavors settle in.
Taste and adjust any salt/pepper here. Also, keep re-tasting! Over time, the flavors in the sauce will change.. taste it and make any adjustments in terms of salt/pepper as needed.
While the sauce cooks, mix the egg yolk, ricotta, and parsley together in a bowl- you can play with the fresh herbs here and mix in basil, oregano, whatever you're feeling!
Start to assemble! (be sure to remove the parm rind from your sauce before doing this!) Start with one layer of zucchini rounds in your greased baking dish, top with ½ of the sauce, ½ of the grated mozzarella; Layer 2- top mozzarella with another layer of zucchini, dollop with ricotta then gently smooth over without mixing into your sauce so you have 2 distinct layers; Top with the 3rd and last layer of zucchini, the rest of the mozzarella and the parmesan
Bake in oven for 35 min (ovens vary so check in at 25 min to get an idea, you want the cheese bubbly and slightly golden)
Hardest part…. WAIT! I know it looks and smells amazing but this really does need to sit for a solid 30 min- fresh out of the over it is hot, really hot, and (even more importantly) it will taste SO much better if you let it cool! The sauce will re-thicken and the flavors are so much better.. I’ve tested this (due to impatience and hunger) and the second serving (because you won’t be having just one) is so much better than the first boiling hot one! That’s it, enjoy!