Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Paleo Lasagna!

I have never been a really big fan of lasagna.  Don't get me wrong, lasagna has a lot of really yummy flavors, but I honestly don't think I've ever ordered it at a restaurant.  I wanted to experiment though to see if I could make a primal version of lasagna... As I was walking through the store, I saw some ricotta made from grass fed cow milk, so I picked that up... I also had some leftover goat's milk mozzarella that I wanted to use up, so I decided that now was as good a time as ever to use it, so here goes nothin!

Paleo Lasagna

* 3 zucchinis
* 2 cans diced tomatoes
* 1 onion, diced
* 6 cloves garlic
* 3 portobella mushroom caps
* 1 lb ground beef
* 1 lb spicy Italian sausage
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella (optional)
* 8 oz ricotta cheese
* 1 tbs dried oregano
* 1/2 tbs dried basil
* 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

First, I browned up the beef and the sausage in a pan with some olive oil. It didn't take long to cook through, but I just wanted it browned and in nice little crumbles. In the meantime, I diced up the onion.  After the meat was cooked, I removed it to a plate. 

I threw the onions in the pan and let them soften up... heaven forbid there are crunchy onions in Curt's food!
I let the onions cook while I chopped up the portobello mushrooms.  Typically, I wouldn't chop them up so small, however, Curt doesn't like mushrooms... soooooo... I just chopped them up really really small so that the chances of him finding them were slim to none.

I tossed the mushrooms in the pan and let them soften up too.

While the mushrooms and onions were cooking, I set to cutting up the zucchini.  I decided to use zucchini instead of pasta noodles because 1) grains are terrible for you and 2) I happen to love zucchini.  This would have been easier if I had a mandolin slicer, but I haven't gotten around to buying one yet.  Instead, I just took a long time to really slice the zucchini thinly.

This took a while, but it was definitely a good replacement for noodles!  Here, you can see how thin the strips were.

Once the mushrooms and onions were cooked nicely, I added the meat back into the pan and let it all warm through.  Then, I added in both cans of tomatoes and the dried herbs.  I stirred everything together and let it all simmer until it smelled like a delicious meaty pasta sauce!

While the meat sauce was heating through, I took some time shredding the cheese.  If you don't do dairy, then you can always leave this part out and I'm sure it would still be delicious.  I had some leftover cheese that I wanted to use up, though, so I shredded it up and added it in.  I'm not a milk girl, but I do occasionally like cheese (with wine!!!) and I always use half and half in my coffee... but back to the food!
I mixed the shredded mozzarella with the ricotta and also (even though I didn't write it in the ingredients) I added in a few shakes of dried parsley.  I mixed it all together and set it aside.

Once the meat sauce was cooked and once the cheese mixture was mixed and once the zucchini "noodles" were sliced, I was ready to assemble!

First, I put a layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.

Then, I set layered on the zucchini. Then topped it with the ricotta cheese mixture.  Then, another layer of the zucchini.

Then some more of the meat mixture.  I just kept this up until I was out of ingredients.

I had saved a bit of the shredded mozzarella so I topped the lasagna with the cheese and popped it in the oven at 350 for 1 hour.  About half way through, I put a bit of aluminum foil on top so that the mozzarella wouldn't burn.

Here's the final product!  I thought it was absolutely delicious!  The lasagna "noodles" were yummy and they held up well through the cooking process.  I figured the dish would be pretty good, but I was really surprised to see how great it really did taste! Curt really liked it too.  We went through 1 pan in just a few days!  Curt really liked it a lot and I only saw him pick out one tiny little bit of mushroom.

I would assume that you could do this same dish and just leave out the cheese.  It'd probably still be really good!


  1. Great idea using zucchini for the noodles. I never would have thought of that.