Garden Fresh Zucchini Lasagne
10 - 12 ounces green spinach lasagne noodles (about 9 strips - 2 1/2 inches by 8 inches or so)
2 tablespoons light olive oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon white wine
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
4 tablespoons chevre
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (purchased or your own) mixed with
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 cups shredded, sautéed zucchini (or steamed)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, minced or cut by hand into small pieces
1/4 cup parsley, finely minced
1 tablespoon sun dried tomato pesto
1 tablespoon basil pesto
1/4 teaspoon dry Italian spices
1 cup low-fat ricotta
2 cups skim milk mozzarella, finely shredded
2 tablespoons fresh parmesan, grated
Fresh minced parsley, paprika
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly spray a 7 or 8 by 11 inch rectangular roasting pan with non-stick regular or garlic flavoured spray. Prepare lasagne noodles if they need boiling or have ready, no-cook variety.
Place the zucchini in a large bowl and cover with parchment paper and a plate. Microwave on High 4-5 minutes. Remove, drain well, and finely chop. 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 is not so watery. Assemble all other ingredients, near where you will be assembling lasagne.
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 pour in the chicken broth, whisking all the while, and then quickly, whisk in the white wine, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the milk, stirring all the while, increase the heat, and whisk/cook until mixture thickens to a thin milkshake consistency, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in Chevre. Remove from stove.
To assemble lasagne, spoon about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce into casserole. Lay down a layer of pasta. Smear on some more marinara, about 1/2 cup 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 cup 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 35-45 minutes until mixture seems hot through and through and top is bubbling slightly.
If I was in Ratner's kitchen as a cook, this is something I would serve. You can use pre-cooked lasagne or par boil regular lasagne. If you can find a more ambrosial tasting lasagne, please share it. It is lite, has an additive garlic béchamel going on, and makes use of surplus zucchini. This is sumptuous and despite the steps it takes: easy. Despite the rich flavour - somewhat lowered fat. It also saves you from one more zucchini bread. I also make this by using half spinach and half zucchini.