9 Layer Zoodle Bake

I've been having a field-day with my spiralizer lately - making zucchini into noodles and using them as a pasta replacement for all kinds of delicious sauces! I was craving the richness of lasagna the other night, so I just took a pan and started layering-in everything Italian and delicious, and *POOF* this recipe was born.

9 Layer Zoodle Bake

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

- 4 large zucchini, spiral-cut into noodles (this is the Spiralizer I use)

- 3/4 lb grass-fed ground beef

- 1 link (or 1/4 pound) hot Italian pork sausage

- 1 large onion, diced

- 2 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped

- 1 small can of diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic, with Italian Seasoning)

- 1/2 cup pesto (if you can't find one made with olive oil, make a quick version at home with fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, and walnuts/pine-nuts in a food processor.)

- 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese

- 6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated

- 2 tablespoons minced garlic

- olive oil or ghee for the pan

- salt & pepper to taste

- Italian seasoning herbs

Instructions:

1. Use the spiralizer to cut the zucchini into noodles. In a large bowl, sprinkle the zoodles with a few pinches of salt. Let the salted zoodles sit while you take the next step; the salt will help draw out a bit of water which we'll squeeze out in a minute...

2. In a cast iron skillet or pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil or ghee over medium-high heat. Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes, then add the beef and sausage, breaking the meat up into little bits as you stir. Season with salt & pepper. Saute until the meat is cooked through. About one minute before turning off the heat, add the minced garlic, and stir to combine. Turn off the heat, and set aside.

3. Place the salted zoodles into a cheesecloth or kitchen towel, and squeeze to remove some of the water content (or else your bake will be more like zoodle soup!)

4. In a large glass or ceramic baking dish ( I used 9x11") start the layering process with a dash of olive oil to coat the bottom, then... (see pictures below)

layer 1: half of the zoodles

layer 2: all the pesto

layer 3: half of the meat/onions

layer 4: all of the ricotta cheese (plus a sprinkle of Italian seasoning)

layer 5: spinach

layer 6: the rest of the zoodles

layer 7: all the tomatoes

layer 8: the rest of the meat/onions

layer 9: shredded mozzarella cheese

That's it! 9 Layers of delicious.

5. In an oven preheated to 350 degrees, bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese on top begins to turn a light golden brown. Let sit for a few minutes; it'll be very hot! It will be a little liquidy at first, but the longer it rests the more it will set up and firm.

Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, be sure to take a pic and let me know how it was! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook too! :-)

Happy Eating, 

January