Cheesy Baked Zucchini Noodle Casserole+

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds zucchini (about 5 to 6 good sized zucchini, enough for 8 to 10 cups of salted zucchini noodles)
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 16 ounces Italian sausage (in bulk, out of casings)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 Spiralize the zucchini, toss with salt, let drain: Using a spiralizer, use the zucchini to make zucchini noodles (zoodles) with the device, following manufacturer’s directions. You should have a generous 8 cups of zucchini noodles.

Place in a colander over a bowl. Snip zucchini noodles with scissors here and there to keep them from tangling too much.

Toss the zoodles with 3 teaspoons of kosher salt. Let the zoodles drain of excess moisture while you make the sauce.  Rinse really well to remove the salt.

2 Lightly brown the sausage: Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil. Break up the Italian sausage into small clumps in the pan. Heat on medium heat and gently cook the sausage until it is just cooked through and lightly browned. Remove to a bowl. Discard all but 1 Tbsp of rendered fat.

3 Brown the onions and garlic: In the same pan, add the chopped onion. Cook until softened and lightly colored, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

4 Add tomatoes, cooked sausage, then simmer, add basil: Add the canned crushed tomatoes and cooked sausage to the pot with the onions. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 additional minutes.

Stir in thinly sliced basil and 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt.

5 Squeeze moisture out of zoodles: While the sauce is simmering, use a clean dish towel (or several paper towels) to squeeze more moisture out of the zucchini noodles.

6 Add zoodles to sauce, place in casserole: Add the zucchini noodles to the pot with the tomato sausage sauce. Gently stir to combine so that all of the noodles are coated with sauce.

Transfer into an oiled 8×13 casserole dish and spread into an even layer.

7 Top with ricotta, Mozzarella, and Parmesan, and bake: Arrange the ricotta in clumps on the casserole. Press the ricotta into the zucchini noodles to penetrate the casserole a bit. Mix the grated mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese together and sprinkle over the top in an even layer.

Bake at 350°F, uncovered, for 35 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach and Cheddar Souffle+

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 6 to 8-cup souffle dish (6 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches in diameter by 3 1/2 inches deep) and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan and bread crumbs.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, the nutmeg, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick.

Off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Cheddar, 1/4 cup of Parmesan and the spinach and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then finally on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks.

Whisk one quarter of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into the souffle dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (don’t peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.

Spiralized Zucchini & Summer Squash Casserole+

I have served this with a meat and arabiatta sauce on top.  I also squeeze moisture out of the noodles by putting them into a colander with salt, letting them sit, then wring out the moisture and then rinse well to remove the salt

Ingredients

    • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
    • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
    • 2 medium summer squash
    • 2 medium zucchini
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Position a rack in the top position of oven; preheat broiler to high.
  • Combine ricotta, Parmesan, basil, garlic and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Using a spiral vegetable slicer or a vegetable peeler, cut summer squash lengthwise into long, thin strands or strips. Stop when you reach the seeds. You should have about 6 cups of “noodles.” Place them on a cutting board and shape into an even 10-inch square. Cut the square into quarters. Transfer each “nest” to a 9-by-13-inch broiler-safe pan (or similar size 3-quart baking dish). Repeat with zucchini. Arrange the zucchini nests in an alternating pattern with the summer squash.
  • Drizzle the nests with oil and season with salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Make a well in the center of each and spoon in about 2 tablespoons filling.
  • Broil the nests until browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve warm.