Sea Salt or Kosher salt
3 or 4 large zucchini (depends on the size)
1 15 oz can tomato paste
2 28 oz can whole tomatoes, drained
1 bag steamy broccoli and cauliflower or about 4-5 cups fresh (total)
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and well drained, or 1 bad fresh spinach chopped
1 16 oz container low fat ricotta
1 2 cup package 2% or part skim mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
1 Tbs each dried oregano, basil, rosemary
1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper
You will need a 13 x 11 glass baking dish
Wash and cut the ends off the zucchini. Slice the zucchini into medium thick slices longways. About 1/4 inch thick. These will be the noodles, you will need enough to make 3 layers in the pan. Place the zucchini in colander in the sink or over a bowl and salt generously to help draw out the water. Let it sit for about 2 hours.
Rinse the zucchini well, then rinse again. Blot with a paper towel, rinse again and then blot one more time. Set aside.
Put the broccoli/cauliflower in the microwave and cook according to the package directions. If using fresh, steam until tender. While that is cooking, chop up the canned tomatoes and put them in a large bowl along w/ the tomato paste. when the broccoli/cauliflower is done, chop it up and put in the bowl with the tomatoes. Mix well. Tatse, and maybe add a bit of pepper and garlic. This is the “meat sauce layer”
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, the spinach, and the seasonings. You will not need to add any extra salt, because the zucchini will still be holding some.
Heat the oven to 375*
Spray the dish with non stick spray and begin to build. Zucchini, ricotta, sauce, shredded cheese. You should 3 layers, ending with the shredded cheese.
Bake uncovered about 45 mins until bubbly.
You can also cover tight and refrigerate til the next day, it may take an extra 10 mins to cook.
Note – I also think this would taste good w/ fresh onions, but my family won’t eat them. I think mushrooms would make a good addition, too. Fresh herbs would be nice, but I didn’t have any on hand. You can also split the seasoning between the sauce and the spinach/ricotta mixture, but I like it all in the sauce. This also makes a good lasagne made with real noodles, if zucchini are out of season. Once you think you’ve rinsed the zucchini well, rinse it again. It holds the salt. I don’t use fat free cheese bc I don’t like the way it melts, but feel free.