Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jack's Lasagna

My mother's husband, Jack, has some serious cooking chops. I'm thinking the man needs to go on Gordon Ramsey's Master Chef, because he could KILL the competition. Every time I go down to OK, he whips up some masterful concoction, and he makes it look so very easy. He makes the best, hands down, pot of beans and cornbread you'll ever eat, and don't get me started on his biscuits and gravy. As they say in the South, they make you want to slap your mama! So when he sent me his recipe for this lasagna, I knew it was going to be good. But I really wasn't prepared for how delicious this pasta-less version of lasagna was going to be.

Let's just put it this way...when it was done, I cut myself a small testing portion to try. It exploded with flavor in my mouth, and the testing portion became a real-sized portion. That too disappeared from my plate in mere moments. This is the best pasta-less lasagna I've ever had. It comes super close to being the best lasagna I've ever had (second only to my mother's), and if you have kiddos who resist you on vegetables, this is the dish to make. Not only do you not taste the zucchini, it is the perfect vehicle to hold all that cheese, sauce and Italian sausage. Okay, enough talking...let's get to the recipe.

Jack's Lasagna
1 large zucchini, or 2 medium sized zucchini, sliced as thin as you can into rounds
1 lb Italian sausage (I used chicken Italian sausage to lighten it up a bit)
1 jar of Prego spaghetti sauce (I used the mushroom one)
1 block of mozzarella, sliced about 1/8" thick
1/3 - 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh sweet basil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get out a 9x13 glass baking dish. Put a little EVOO on the bottom of the dish.

2. Cook sausage. Set aside.

3. Now for the fun...put one layer of zucchini on the bottom of the dish. Pour some sauce over - just enough to cover the zucchini - remember, you're going to have to do this layering a couple of times. After the sauce, add some sausage. Then add some fresh basil. Put a layer of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers two more times (3 layers total).

4. When you are finished with the final layer, top with the freshly grated Parmesan.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. I put mine in the broiler for 3 minutes at the end to give it some color. Let sit for 10 minutes. Top with some more fresh basil and TRY to restrain yourself from eating the entire pan.

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