As we head into fall with seasonal vegetables still abundant, this mealy dish satisfies a hearty crave while it still has an end of the summer harvest appeal. I love this because you can make it ahead and warm it up before serving and it's almost better the next day too. Think of it as a gourmet summer mac n cheese. The secret to making this most memorable dish is combining the right mixture of imported cheeses. I love ementele, fontina and romano's like pecorino, locatelli and a freshly grated parmesan. You can use a gluten free lasagna noodle with this or one that is infused with herbs, spinach or peppers. I choose one freshly made and traditional. If you are really feeling ambitious, and this can be a fun family project, make your own fresh pasta. its actually much simpler that you would imagine but you can certainly taste the difference. I also love making this because it gives me the opportunity to use up some of that zucchini that never stops growing, you never know what to do with and your neighbors refuse to except anymore (insert wide eyed emoji here) however, this lasagna is always a big hit at a dinner party all year round and you can add whatever veggies you'd like too. So you have my permission to make it your own (insert cheesy wink here....no pun intended).
What you'll need:
1 box lasagna noodles, cooked and set aside.
2 medium zucchini's, sliced thin
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 large tub of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of parsley chopped fine
3 cups of grated hard cheeses your choice of blend, and save a little extra for topping
salt and pepper
Cook your noodles and set aside. Combine ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of the gated cheese, 3/4 c of chopped parsley mix and set aside. Next, slice very thin the zucchini and onion. Now the fun comes in, time to layer. In a deep baking pan, cover with pam cooking spray or oil the bottom, lay down your first layer of noodles. Then, spread half of your ricotta cheese mixture on top of that, then goes the zucchini in a thin layer that covers the entire pan, same with the onion and in the same fashion and sprinkle with some of the minced garlic, salt and pepper. Then goes your second layer of noodle and repeat the same process. Top one more time with noodle, the other 1 1/2 cup of cheese mixture, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and the remaining parsley. Cook in a 375 degree oven covered with tin foil for 45 minutes then uncovered for 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Cool for at least 20 minutes before you cut and serve. Top each piece with a dusting of cheese and a basil leaf or parsley sprig for garnish.
I love a nice dry Riestling with this and maybe a crusty loaf of bread....but then again, who wouldn't.