- 4 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound mozzarella, shredded
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- In a large pan over medium heat, grill zucchini until browned and cooked through on both sides. 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside.
- Place ground beef in a large skillet, season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat until browned.
- Drain fat and set beef aside, then add olive oil to pan and saute onion for 8 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
- During the last 1-2 minutes, add minced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
- Return 1/2 meat to pan and add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and basil.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until reduced and thickened.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- In a large bowl, mix together mozzarella and cottage cheese.
- Use the back of a spoon to spread 1/4 cup sauce into a large baking dish. Lay 1/3 grilled zucchini slices onto the bottom of dish and top with 1/2 sauce, then top with 1/2 parmesan cheese and 1/3 mozzarella mixture.
- Repeat with second layer: 1/3 zucchini, remaining sauce, remaining parmesan and 1/3 mozzarella mixture.
- Top everything with remaining zucchini and reserved browned meat, then spread remaining mozzarella and cottage cheese over it all.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil, place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10-12, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Oh, Sweet Basil