Friday, August 16, 2013

Sneaky Zucchini-sagna

I can’t figure out if I love (or resent) zucchini.  Since it’s summer, and it’s taking over my house - I have to make a real effort to use it - with a thankful heart.  It really is fun to have it as my houseguest for just a few months, and I’ll miss it when it’s gone.  This is a result of trying to find one more way to use it up.

I’ve noticed lately when I collect zucchini out of my garden - I must be allergic to it.  That beautiful, smooth, dark skin is loaded with almost invisible hairlike spines.  It makes me itch to think about going out to harvest more.  Then, there’s the zucchini juice that would make a great skin-tightener.  Have you ever noticed how really fresh zucchini will actually COAT your skin after cutting it?  In spite of all the things I dislike about it - zucchini is a great add-in to stretch your meals.  

I’ve seen recipes for zucchini lasagna out there, and I really haven’t wanted THAT much green in my lasagna.  So I’ve been trying to think of how to add it into an easy lasagna.  I found a recipe on several websites for Sour Cream Noodle Bake.  They all have a few things in common - ease of assembly, minimal “layering”, and a lasagna-like mixture of ingredients.

I decided to combine the good things from these recipes and add one more element.  Grated zucchini.  I’m not talking about finely grated zucchini - but coarsely grated.  You want to announce that it’s there, but not overpower everyone.  Finely grated zucchini is a bit too subtle and leaves you wondering exactly which green thing is in there.

Since I didn’t want too many steps, I decided to let the boiling water from the noodles give the zucchini a little head-start in softening.  This also leaches out some of the excess moisture that this squash is notorious for.  I put the coarsely grated squash in the bottom of a fine mesh strainer and poured the cooked noodles over the top.  Let it stand while you prepare the meat sauce, and it’s just right to add to the mix.  

We loved this mixture.  The zucchini is definitely THERE, but not in enough quantity to be in your face.  

A nice texture with all the different elements going on.  See if you like it as much as we do.

For the recipe, go to:

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