Recipe of the Week: Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna Spirals

Ingredients

Marinara:
Pam olive oil spray
1/2 small onion, chopped
14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 salt & pepper to taste
1 pinch of red pepper flakes

Roll ups:
30 oz low fat ricotta
2 cup finely chopped spinach, firmly packed (measure the spinach before chopping)
2 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 large egg
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded | 2 1/2 cups
4 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Lay the zucchini strips out across a cooling rack (cooling rack allows excess water to drain). Sprinkle salt across the tops of the zucchini and let sit for about 10-15 minutes to let the water sweat out of the zucchini. Pat the water off the zucchini and then flip them over and repeat with the next side. Wipe off excess salt with a towel.
  2. Warm the Pam olive oil spray in a small sauce pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 3-4 minutes until the onion softens.
  3. Add the remaining marinara ingredients and stir to combine. Reduce the marinara to a medium low heat and allow to simmer for at 15-20 minutes until the sauce thickens. Stir occasionally to keep the sauce from burning and sticking to the bottom. While the sauce is simmering on the stove you can prep your ricotta mixture in the steps below
  4. Remove the sauce from the heat, take out the bay leaf, and allow the marinara to cool for a couple of minutes before handling.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C
  6. In a medium bowl mix ricotta cheese, basil, spinach, parmesan cheese, half of the mozzarella and egg. Stir well.
  7. In a 9×13 in (22 x 33 cm) casserole dish spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom.
  8. Begin assembling your zucchini rolls by laying out the sliced zucchini noodles on a flat, clean work top.
  9. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture first over each individual zucchini noodle. Then, add a spoonful of marinara over the top of the ricotta.
  10. Carefully roll up the zucchini and place them in the baking dish.
  11. If you have any remaining tomato sauce spread it over the top of the rolls. Sprinkle parmesan and the remaining mozzarella cheese over the top.
  12. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the cheese on top is a nice golden brown.

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