Lasagna w/ Yellow Summer Squash Noodles

Lasagna w/ Yellow Summer Squash Noodles

Today we enjoyed another fall-like day here in the Atlanta area. It's funny how the sky looks so different all of a sudden -- beautiful clear blue skies filled with lots of big fluffy white clouds -- it actually looks like a fall sky. With our evening temps dipping into the upper 50s, it's just a matter of time before the leaves begin to turn colors and fall. Yesterday we celebrated my oldest son's birthday and had the whole family over. It's been a while since I've had all of them under the same roof at the same time! I made lasagna for dinner -- the regular kind for all of the wheat-eaters and a smaller separate one for me. It's so easy to do because everything else is exactly the same, except for the noodles. I decided to try yellow summer squash for the noodles this time. Yellow summer squash tends to have a slightly sweeter flavor to me with a different flavor than zucchini -- nothing drastic, but more subtle. I made a batch of very meaty meat sauce -- I used 3 pounds of ground sirloin. I used a good jarred sauce (DelGrosso's Fireworks Sauce, which is spicy). I wanted a thick spicy meat sauce. You can use your favorite lasagna recipe to make this -- just make or buy a good sauce that doesn't contain sugar or any corn syrup as sweetener. I used 2 26-ounce jars for 3 pounds of meat that I added to the meat after I browned it along with a small diced onion (I seasoned the meat well with sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, 6 chopped fresh sage leaves and a few generous pinches of fennel seed to give the beef a "sausage-like flavor"). I added the sauce to the browned, seasoned beef and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.br /divbr //divdivThe trick to making a good lasagna when you substitute zucchini or yellow squash for noodles is to make sure you don't use too much sauce, and the thicker the better. The meat sauce I made was enough to make one large deep regular lasagna for the family as well as a 9.5" x 9.5" square 3-layer wheat-free lasagna for me. The funny thing is that my younger son wanted to eat MY lasagna instead of the regular kind -- he tried the regular kind but preferred mine -- so that just proves that it really is good regardless of whether or not you are a wheat-eater! While I do believe that they all would have eaten and enjoyed it if I had just made my wheat-free version -- since this was a birthday dinner, I always cater to the birthday person (it's called mother's prerogative). Believe it or not, it's actually really easy to make a separate and smaller modified version of the same thing for yourself, if you are the only wheat-free person in your house with minimal time and effort. I just placed the casserole dishes side by side and layered them at the same time.  The amount of lasagna that I prepared last night made 12 generous portions (4 wheat-free servings in my little casserole and 8 servings in the larger regular-version casserole). I photographed my lasagna yesterday but waited until this evening to write it up and post it so I could spend the evening uninterrupted with my family. Hubby and I enjoyed having the leftovers again this evening and I sent lasagna home with the kids, too. I snapped a few photos for you to see below as well as my simple recipe for the 4-serving casserole which can easily be doubled or tripled, depending on how many you are serving. I served the lasagna with a fresh green salad on the side. Enjoy!/divdivbr //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dpm-xKIg-Dk/UkDzBFPzF4I/AAAAAAAAHU8/J7uxxjqUGLE/s1600/DSCN6023.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dpm-xKIg-Dk/UkDzBFPzF4I/AAAAAAAAHU8/J7uxxjqUGLE/s640/DSCN6023.jpg" width="640" //a/divdivbr //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2By9rDL9CRc/UkDy7NcyTI/AAAAAAAAHUo/sulGAkh40Y/s1600/DSCN5981.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="280" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2By9rDL9CRc/UkDy7NcyTI/AAAAAAAAHUo/sulGAkh40Y/s400/DSCN5981.jpg" width="400" //a/divbr /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EV638pNGe94/UkDy1NtKpI/AAAAAAAAHUs/-a1zbXPW4AE/s1600/DSCN5987.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="310" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EV638pNGe94/UkDy1NtKpI/AAAAAAAAHUs/-a1zbXPW4AE/s400/DSCN5987.jpg" width="400" //a/divbr /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VxjB51swtAQ/UkDy0SDHfI/AAAAAAAAHUk/aLRCKB9ztQ/s1600/DSCN5990.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="255" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VxjB51swtAQ/UkDy0SDHfI/AAAAAAAAHUk/aLRCKB9ztQ/s400/DSCN5990.jpg" width="400" //a/divbr /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vGyrJWOiPjk/UkDzAmy6dI/AAAAAAAAHUw/k34xzRJ5sOU/s1600/DSCN6006.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vGyrJWOiPjk/UkDzAmy6dI/AAAAAAAAHUw/k34xzRJ5sOU/s400/DSCN6006.jpg" width="400" //a/divbr /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-G9tHj4xl3E/UkDzBK0FSiI/AAAAAAAAHU4/8IosGiP1kk/s1600/DSCN6021.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="448" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-G9tHj4xl3E/UkDzBK0FSiI/AAAAAAAAHU4/8IosGiP1kk/s640/DSCN6021.jpg" width="640" //a/divdivbr //divdivbr //divdivbspan style="font-size: x-large;"Lasagna w/ Yellow Summer Squash Noodles/span/b/divdivbr //divdivuBasic instructions/u: To make the 4-serving 9.5" x 9.5" casserole, I made "yellow squash noodles" by thinly slicing 3 medium yellow summer squash (about 1/4" thick), lightly sprayed them with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and black pepper and roasted in a 400 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes until fork-tender. In addition to the thick meaty sauce, I used fresh mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, shredded regular mozzarella cheese and shredded Parmigiano Reggiano to top the lasagna with. To make the smaller 4-serving casserole you would need the following ingredients (double the recipe to serve 8 or triple to serve 12):/divdivbr //divdivuINGREDIENTS:/u/divdivubr //u/divdivuNoodles/u:/divdiv3 to 4 medium yellow summer squash (or zucchini), sliced lengthwise in 1/4" slices/divdivubr //u/divdivuMeat sauce/u:/divdiv2 tablespoons olive oil (for browning beef and onion)/divdiv1 pound ground sirloin/divdiv1/4 cup diced onion/divdivSeasonings to taste, optional: salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sage and fennel seed (if you want to give a sausage-like flavor to your browned beef)/divdiv2/3 of a 26-oz jar of pasta sauce/divdivbr //divdivuCheeses/u:/divdiv1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese/divdiv8 ounces shredded regular mozzarella cheese/divdiv3/4 cup ricotta cheese (or about 1/3 of a 16-oz container)/divdiv1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano (or regular Parmesan cheese)/divdivbr //divdivuINSTRUCTIONS:/ubr /ubr //u uThis is the order I layered everything/u:br /ulliThin layer of meat sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish;/liliLayer 1/3 of "noodles" (I used yellow summer squash)/liliLayer the ricotta cheese/lili2nd thin layer of meat sauce/lili2nd layer of  1/3 of "noodles"/liliLayer the fresh mozzarella (break up with fingers and scatter evenly)/liliLayer 1/2 of the shredded regular mozzarella/lili3rd thin layer of meat sauce/lili3rd and final 1/3 layer of "noodles"/lili4th and final thin layer of meat sauce on top/liliLayer remaining half of shredded mozzarella cheese/liliTopped with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese/li/uldivBake uncovered in a 375 degree F oven for about about 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let sit for about 15-20 minutes for the cheeses to cool down a bit so it isn't too hot and the cheeses can set so the lasagna doesn't slide all over the place when cut.  Serves 4.br /br /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-p8E5BQrqQxo/UkDzA8wl4I/AAAAAAAAHU0/h888oClOs/s1600/DSCN6017.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="424" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-p8E5BQrqQxo/UkDzA8wl4I/AAAAAAAAHU0/h888oCl_Os/s640/DSCN6017.jpg" width="640" //a/divbr //div/div!-- Ziplist Button code --br /a class="ziplist-button add-recipe small" href="http://www.ziplist.com/webkitchen/button/addrecipe?aspartner=gourmetgirlcooks" target="blank"img src="http://asset1.ziplist.com/wk/add_recipe-small.png" //abr /!-- End ZipList button code --br /

Read the whole article on Gourmet Girl Cooks