Zucchini Again   Leave a comment

And now, in what we hope will be our final zucchini hurrah, I want to share two more very useful zucchini recipes.  My two main criteria for what makes a zucchini recipe good are 1. it has to create few leftovers (as that means it’s tasty and I’m not getting any complaints) and 2. it has to use at least several cups of zucchini (otherwise what is the point ?).

Both of these recipes meet the criteria.

I use both of them as main dishes, even though the zucchini garlic pasta, brought to you by a subscription I used to have for Quick Cooking and its author, Shelley Smail of Chico, California, is supposed to be a side salad.

Zucchini Garlic Pasta

16 oz rotini or other specialty pasta

6-8 slices bacon

1 medium onion diced

4-6 garlic cloves minced

3 medium zucchini halved and sliced

1/2 tsp. salt

3 T. lemon juice

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat cook bacon until crisp. Remove, cool and crumble.  Discard any drippings you don’t care to use, or add some olive oil if you don’t have enough drippings, and saute onion and garlic until somewhat tender, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and salt; cook until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add drained pasta to the zucchini mix. Add lemon juice and bacon, toss.  Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan.

This is relatively simple as it doesn’t have that many ingredients, but with a side salad and a vegetable, or maybe just some bread, it is always a hit at my house.

 

Zucchini Lasagna Casserole (my mother’s, modified, from her friend Phyllis Jackson)

1 pound ground beef

1 clove garlic

1 T. basic leaves

1 tsp. salt

15 oz can tomato sauce

2 6 oz. cans tomato paste

4 medium to large zucchini (or more if needed) thinly sliced, cutting out areas that have large seeds first, if there are any

3 cups creamy cottage cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 T. dried parsley flakes

2 beaten eggs

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 pound Mozzarella cheese grated

Brown beef and drain fat.  Add other ingredients through tomato paste and simmer for 15 minutes or so while preparing other ingredients.  Add water if it becomes pasty; you want to be able to pour it into the casserole.  Slice the zucchini thinly, and I do mean that, as you want them to not be crunching under your teeth when you bite in.  Mix the cottage cheese, Parmesan, parsley, eggs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

When all is prepared, layer the lasagna ingredients in a 9×13 pan starting with first half the zucchini slices, half the cottage cheese mix, half the grated mozzarella, and half the meat sauce.  Repeat the layers.  Bake in a 375 oven for 30 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes as the filling will set slightly and the lasagna will be easier to serve.

I remember when lasagna was one of the most complicated things I made.  It doesn’t feel that way any more, because with enough practice any dish becomes simple.  I also like using the zucchini instead of lasagna noodles.  It’s much simpler and just as delicious.

And it uses a lot of zucchini.

 

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Posted July 24, 2014 by swanatbagend in food

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