Thinly sliced zucchini ribbons replace pasta in this delicious, low-carb, noodle-less dish. This lasagna totally satisfies my cravings for cheesy and indulgent Italian comfort food. It’s perfect in the summer when I have tons of garden-fresh zucchini and herbs, but I also love making it during the colder months when I want something hot and comforting. Although it takes a little longer than most of my recipes, it’s totally worth it!
Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the meat, season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as it browns, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the meat in a colander and wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
Put the skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Return the meat to the pan, add the tomatoes, basil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer uncovered 10 minutes, until thickened.
Meanwhile, slice the zucchini lengthwise with a mandolin into 1/8-inch-thick slices (you should have at least 30 to 35 long zucchini ribbons). Lightly salt the zucchini with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside for 15 minutes. Blot the zucchini with paper towels.
Preheat a grill to medium heat (or preheat a grill pan over medium heat).
Oil the grill grates or spray the grill pan with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Grill the zucchini until cooked and slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and press to absorb excess moisture.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, and egg. Spread 1/2 cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 × 13 × 2 1/2- inch baking dish. Make a layer of the zucchini over the sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture over the zucchini and sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella. Make another layer of zucchini, top with 1 1/2 cups meat sauce, 1/2 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients for a total of 3 layers. Finish the lasagna by topping with the remaining zucchini and meat sauce. Cover the dish with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil, and bake 20 minutes uncovered. Add the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and bake uncovered until bubbling and the cheese is melted, 10 more minutes. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into 8 pieces.
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