Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Courtney's Test Kitchen: Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna in 21 easy steps
(alternate title: The frighteningly true store behind why
Courtney and Dustin spend so much money at restaurants)

1. Start with a pan. You know....like a big ish one. (This should give you an idea of how precise we're going to be from here on out.)

2. Pour sauce in it. Enough to cover the bottom. I recommend: sauce from a jar. Highly.

Getting crazy here: three steps, one photo. Try to keep up:
3. Slice zucchini lengthwise using a mandolin. No, a mandoline. (oh image link humor...)
4. Place slices over the sauce. Overlap if you like...get crazy with it!
5. Sprinkle flour on top of the zucchini because....well because I had some vague idea that it would absorb the excess water from the veggies and keep it from being too thin....and I can't prove that's not true.

6. Pour one can of shaky cheese (I think that's what the Italians call it...), and one tub of ricotta into a bowl.
7. Sprinkle nutmeg on it because I'm pretty sure one time I put nutmeg in the filling for stuffed mushrooms and those were delicious!
8. Add anything else you want: Basil? Onion? Garlic? SALT?!?!? whoa....calm down. It's lasagna not a free for all.

9: Mix it, and then smear (schmear, for my Jewish readers) the mixture on top of the zukes. (yeah, we're calling them that now.) This will be a bit challenging, because the cheese will stick in big globs, and the zukes will start sliding all over the place and sauce will get everywhere, requiring you to wipe the pan down with a paper towel before taking a picture of this step in the masterpiece. It may almost seem like there's something wrong with the recipe, or that this is a terrible plan, sure to end in ruin. Press on....

Now the next few steps aren't pictured, but I cannot stress their importance enough. If you follow nothing else, you'll want to really nail this part:
10: Forget to buy mozzarella cheese.
11: Briefly consider going to the store to get it, realize that requires more effort and commitment than this thing probably warrants.
12: Put some foil over the pan and leave it in the fridge for tomorrow.
Are you still with me? It gets a little complicated, so pay close attention:
13: On the following day, buy the cheese (your procrastination may or may not be rewarded with a 10 for $10 sale. Score!)
14: Find a way to forget/ignore/put off finishing the recipe for two more days. C'mon, you can do it....
15: Day 4: Sprinkle cheese over whatever is festering, I mean marinating, in the pan.

16: Repeat the layers (sans time delay): sauce, zukes, cheesy mix, cheese.
17: Place it on the middle rack in the (you guessed it!) 'fridge, because seriously, that was a lot of work, let's just bake it tomorrow.
It may feel like it's getting a little tedious at this point. But trust me, the hard part is over....time for the big finish.
18: Have someone else (I don't know...maybe an obliging husband?) bake it while you're at work. Give vague instructions like...350? For a half hour...I mean hour...?
19: Instruct them to call my mom because this schenanigans has gone on long enough, she'll know what to do.
20: Heed her warning to boil pasta just in case this turns out terrible-horrible-no good-very bad.
21: Remove from oven, slice/pour over pasta. Enjoy!


  1. sista, you are TOO funny! you would be fun to cook with :) still looks good though!

  2. That was the best thing I've read in a long time. I cracked up laughing several times and I don't laugh out loud very often. Well done. I think you're giving "Julie and Julia" a run for its money.

    What's the next cooking challenge?

  3. Very funny babe! You forgot to mention that we probably ate out the nights where the lasgna was in the fridge! So much for saving money! It was delicious though!

  4. thanks for your comment, lady!

    love this post. its the reason i never make lasagna - too many steps and my a.d.d. kicks in and i abandon project for thai take-out. hopeless.

  5. haha. really, really funny. glad you followed through!