By Babs Rodriguez
Photo by Ralph Lauer
Sunday nights, the menu goes up on Facebook. Immediately, devotees of chef Karen McCann begin signing up for delivery of low-carb and gluten-free entrees such as crustless quiches, pork loin with pesto, stuffed avocados and shrimp scampi with zoodles. McCann also serves lunch and carry-out dishes in the 100-year-old Aledo cottage that’s home to ApPlause Food Show & Catering. The health-conscious cook — think healthy fats and organic ingredients — credits her culinary chops and clever presentations to nine years as a Williams-Sonoma culinary expert. This low-carb “lasagna” is a client favorite. “It can be adapted to the season and a variety of spice profiles and tweaks,” she says. A Mexican take uses ground turkey with enchilada sauce; and an Asian rendition combines pork, Chinese five spice and shredded cabbage. This version oozes with cheeses wrapped in thin slices of al dente zucchini.
Zucchini Spinach Lasagna
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup whole milk mozzarella, divided use
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
10 to 12 medium-size zucchini (1 per lasagna roll)
3 to 4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce, warmed
1 teaspoon olive oil
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all filling ingredients, using ½ cup of the mozzarella, in a large bowl and set aside.
Trim ends from each zucchini and slice lengthwise into thin ribbons using a vegetable slicer. If you have a mandoline, set it at 1/16-inch thickness, making 8 planks from each squash. Discard section at the center of the zucchini, as seeds make the dish watery.
On a work surface, shingle ribbons of squash, overlapping slightly at long sides. Keep the set of zucchini shingles from each squash separate so that you end up with 10 to 12 lasagna “noodles.” Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling at one end of each shingled set and roll up from short end to create 10 to 12 rolled and filled lasagna “noodles.”
Spread 1 to 2 cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9-x-13-inch lasagna pan. Place each zucchini roll seam side down on sauce. Brush tops of rolls with olive oil and bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Remove pan from oven and top rolls with remaining mozzarella. Serve with reserved marinara sauce.