Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

zucchini arugula lasagna

So a couple weeks ago I was menu planning, and suddenly it occurred to me that it has been, I don’t know, maybe FOREVER since the last time I made a lasagna. How terrible of me! Time for that to be rectified, stat.

arugula ricotta lasagna filling

As much of a lasagna lover that I am, I really was a bit baffled at how I could have let such a culinary sin occur in my kitchen. So, okay, time to fix the misstep. But it’s still the last vestiges of summer, and maybe a full on meaty dish isn’t appropriate or appetizing right now, and I have to admit that the traditional meat and red sauce version is what I think of most when I picture lasagna, despite all the infinite variations out there. But, no matter what my childhood lasagna first impressions were, it’s just too heavy for right now. Veggies to the rescue!

Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

I chose a recipe featuring zucchini and arugula since they are both very currently seasonal. This one did feature a tomato sauce, but it wasn’t heavy or the least bit greasy. The dish turned out perfect for the weather and for our taste buds. Extremely flavorful, satisfying, with the familiar comfort of the tomato sauce but the fresh pop of zucchini. We loved it. And as always with lasagna, the leftovers just get better.

zucchini arugula lasagna

A few recipe notes: I really, really, really should have used a larger/taller baking dish. I used a pretty, kind of frouffy one, where the sides aren’t very high, accidentally forgetting that I have a pretty lasagna pan with high sides (d’oh!) and well, my lasagna runneth over. Quite a bit. Thank god I had the good foresight to place the pan on a baking sheet, but still. I’d recommend a higher-sided pan. Also, slice the zucchini very thin, to ensure it cooks through in the oven. I absolutely adored the smoky smoked mozzarella here, but you can certainly use regular mozz if you prefer.

Zucchini arugula lasagna

Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

{One year ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs}

Source: slightly adapted from Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp

2 tbs olive oil
½ a medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp crushed chile flakes
2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
Kosher salt and black pepper

5 oz. baby arugula, tough stems removed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt

2 tbs minced fresh oregano leaves
2 tbs olive oil
2 lb. zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced thin crosswise
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 (8-9 oz.) box of no-boil lasagna noodles
12 oz. smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

First, make the TOMATO SAUCE. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and chile flakes; cook one more minute. Stir in the tomatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes start to simmer. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, at least 20 minutes longer.
Now make the CHEESE FILLING. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
For the LASAGNA: preheat the oven to 375 F and arrange a rack in the middle. Toss together the oregano, oil, and zucchini in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble the lasagna: grease a high-sided 9×13” baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange one-fourth of the lasagna noodles over the bottom of the pan, breaking to fit as necessary. Top with 2 cups tomato sauce and spread it evenly. Dollop one-third of the ricotta mixture over the sauce. Spread it evenly. Layer one-fourth of the zucchini over the ricotta, then top with one-fourth each of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat to make 2 more layers.
For the final layer, top the lasagna with the last of the noodles, sauce, zucchini, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
Cover with aluminum foil, tenting it along the center of the lasagna to avoid the cheese sticking to it. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the liquids are bubbling and the noodles are beginning to soften, about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown and the noodles are completely tender, about 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.

2 responses to “Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

  1. Julie,
    That looks delicious. I’m starting to think Fall, and lasagna appeals to me right now. Thanks!

    • Thanks! Yeah, so I mistakenly bought 2 packages of lasagna noodles for this recipe, when I only needed one, so I’m trying to figure out a good fall lasagna to make with the other box. 🙂

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