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‘8 Layers’ Zucchini and Meat Lasagna


I have tried several takes at making something that closely resembled actual Lasagna. With Dana being Italian, most of the attempts have been feeble and far from what she would call ‘Lasagna.’ This version uses a “nut cheese” made from cashews, layered with zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, and homemade sauce (although I have been told that my sauce doesn’t hold a candle to her mom’s).  The nut cheese has a ricotta like consistency and served well both as a layer and a topping. This recipe takes some time so it turned out to be a nice little Sunday afternoon while Dana worked on her new bakery website and I glanced at the screen trying to see what was going on in the NFL games.

From our kitchen to yours, Bennett


For the sauce layer
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound grass fed beef (buffalo, lamb and beef all work)
1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
1 28 ounce can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Sea salt and pepper to taste

For the nut cheese
3 cups cashews, soaked for 24 hours
2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, strained
¾ cup almond milk
1 tablespoon dried onions
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
Sea salt and pepper to taste

For the ‘pasta’ layers
5 medium zucchinis cut lengthwise
4 cups sliced mushrooms (Shitake work nice)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Heat a 5-quart Dutch oven pan to medium
Sautee the onions and garlic with olive oil
Add the sausage and feed until browned.  Drain
Add tomato, paste, and sauce to the mixture with Italian seasonings (Basil, Oregano, and Thyme)
Allow simmering for about 20 minutes while you prepare the other layers
Sautee the mushrooms until soft and set aside
Cut the Zucchinis lengthwise about ¼’ thick (these will be used as the bottom and 5th layer)
Note: You can use a mandolin to keep the layers fairly uniform, but make sure you get it at least a quarter inch thick
Make the nut cheese by straining the cashews and blending in a Vitamix with almond milk, onion, garlic, and seasoning
Mix half the nut cheese with the strained spinach. The remaining nut cheese without spinach will be the top layer
Layer the lasagna into a 13 x 9” inch lasagna pan with the following:
Base Layer: Sauce
1st Layer Zucchini Sheets
2nd Layer Mushrooms
3rd Layer Nut cheese w/ spinach
4th Layer Sauce
5th Layer Zucchini Sheets
6th Layer Mushrooms
7th Layer Sauce
8th Layer Nut cheese w/o spinach
Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees
Let rest for 10 minutes
Cut using a chef’s knife to get all the way through the zucchini
Serve with Italian parsley

Servers 6


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