Garden Fresh Zucchini Lasagna
10 to 12 ounces green spinach lasagna noodles (about 9 strips - 2 1/2 X 8-inches or so)
2 tbsp. light olive oil
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp. white wine
2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
3/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 1/2 c. 1% milk
4 tbsp. chevre (goat cheese)
2 1/2 c. marinara sauce
2 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 c. shredded zucchini (sautéed, or steamed)
1 c. fresh basil leaves (minced or hand cut into small pieces)
1/4 c. parsley (finely minced)
1 tbsp. sun dried tomato pesto
1 tbsp. basil pesto
1/4 tsp. dry Italian spices
1 c. low-fat ricotta
2 c. skim milk mozzarella (finely shredded)
2 tbsp. fresh Parmesan (grated)
Fresh minced parsley (or paprika)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 7 or 8 X 11-inch rectangular roasting pan with non-stick spray (regular or garlic flavored). Prepare lasagna noodles (if they need par boiling).
Place zucchini in a large bowl and cover with parchment paper and a plate. Microwave on high setting for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove, drain well, chop fine, then set aside. You can also sauté to soften in a non-stick skillet with a touch of olive oil (you want to just cook it down a bit so it's not watery). Assemble all other ingredients, near where you will be assembling lasagna.
For the Garlic Béchamel; in a 3-quart saucepan over low heat, warm up the olive oil about one minute. Stir in the flour and cook until flour is pasty. Slowly add the chicken broth, whisking all the while, and then quickly whisk in white wine, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the milk, stirring all the while, increase the heat, whisking and cooking mixture until it thickens to thin milkshake consistency (about 1-2 minutes). Stir in chevre. Remove from stove.
To assemble lasagna, spoon about 1/2 c. of marinara sauce into casserole. Lay down a layer of pasta. Smear on some more marinara, about 1/2 c. of béchamel, then the zucchini. Top with another layer of pasta. Smear on more marinara, béchamel, and the dot with the pesto, scatter on some parsley, basil, and a pinch of Italian spices. Sprinkle on about 1 c. of mozzarella.
Top with another layer of pasta, then marinara, béchamel, and drop the ricotta in dollops over this layer. Top with more pasta, and use up remaining marinara, béchamel, and spices. The final layer should be pasta, marinara, béchamel in drizzled over, pinch of spices, basil leaves, and dusting of the parmesan.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes until mixture seems hot through and through and top is bubbling slightly.
Flexible recipe allows for use of pre-cooked lasagna or par boiled lasagna noodles. This dish is lite, has an additive garlic béchamel going on, and makes use of surplus zucchini. This is sumptuous and despite all the steps, it's easy! It also saves you from one more zucchini bread. I also make this recipe by using half spinach and half zucchini.