Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Homemade Tomato Sauce and Zucchini Lasagna

This recipe is more of a 2-day recipe, at least for me! I wanted something tasty and healthy but easy, and even though it's not HARD, it is a little time consuming!

Day One: Tomato Sauce


8 tomatoes
1 large bell pepper (ours happened to be red)
1 onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
3-4 basil leaves
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs wine (I used leftover champagne!)
1 tbs balsamic vinegar (I used fig infused balsamic, mix it up!)
Salt, pepper, chili flakes to taste

First, boil a large pot of water big enough to hold the tomatoes. Throw (or gently place) the tomatoes in there until the skin splits - only about a minute. Take them out and strain them under cold water, the peels should slip right off!

Slice them into quarters and scoop out the seeds. Tomatoes are quite acidic, so my hands got pruney really fast and still feel a little odd... maybe wear gloves? Set aside. 

Chop the onion, mince the garlic, and cut up (and de-seed) the bell pepper. Heat the olive oil on medium heat and add these ingredients. When soft, add the tomatoes, basil, wine, vinegar, and seasonings - lower heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

It can be eaten chunky, but I used my immersion blender to make it a little smoother! Put it in a container and save until Day Two :)

Makes about 6-ish cups.

Day Two: Lasagna Assembly


Sauce from day one
3 medium large zucchini squashes
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1 container fat free ricotta cheese
Italian seasoning, salt, pepper
Parmesan cheese for shredding on top (approximately 2 oz)

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut the zucchini lengthwise to simulate lasagna and place in a baking dish. Brown the turkey and Italian seasoning in a skillet, but don't overcook it! Mix it with 2/3 of the sauce and set aside. Layer the ingredients - I did 1 zucchini, 1/2 of a container of ricotta spread on that, and then 1/2 of the turkey sauce. Then a separate set of that, and lastly the 3rd zucchini, the remaining plain sauce, and shredded parmesan cheese.  Bake for approximately 45 minutes.

Now here is where I'll be completely honest... this dish tastes WONDERFUL, it seems like real lasagna but with a much reduced caloric count! I baked it for only 30 minutes, it was VERY melty but still not super hot so I put a single serving in the microwave - it was a DISASTER, all of the lasagna was spilling everywhere, the spatula couldn't hold it, I had to eat it in a bowl! The next day, I set aside a little container, and I'll tell you, chilled it comes out amazing and all in one piece. That picture above of the perfect little piece? It was cold. I reheated it again, and STILL TASTY, it ended up looking like this:

Point is - if you want this to be a BEAUTIFUL dish to be served at dinner parties? Probably not gonna happen... but if you want something tasty that is easily reheated and only 7 WW points for 1/6 of the entire lasagna, GO FOR IT! Sorry it's less than attractive... any tips on making it prettier will be much appreciated ;)

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