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There are days when I have grand plans about what I’m going to make for dinner. Usually in the morning or the night before, I come up with an idea and spend some time thinking about how good it will be.
Then I go about my day, cleaning up, trying to keep the plants in my raised beds alive, running to the store, pickling things, and everything else that comes along with being a homeowner and mom.
Dinnertime creeps up, and all too frequently I have exhausted myself already, and the thought of heading back into the kitchen just makes me slump farther into the sofa cushions.
After a little back-and-forth with my husband about what we will be having after all, I heave myself up and start pulling things from the fridge.
While I’ve been slowly teaching my husband to throw together a dinner from the contents of our fridge, it’s still easier to do things myself than dictate a recipe that is living in my head instead of in a book.
Ninety-three percent of the time I’m glad I forced myself to cook. (The other seven percent stems from recipes-in-my-head gone wrong. So, so wrong.)
Pasta is one of my husband’s favorite foods, and lasagna is high up there on his lists of requests. I like lasagna too, but I often feel like it is too heavy, especially in the summertime.
Staring at a drawerful of yellow squash and remembering the homemade ricotta in the freezer easily led to this summer squash lasagna that is perfect for summer. The squash stands in for noodles, creating a veggie-rich main meal that won’t weigh you down at the end of the day.
Summer Squash Lasagna
- 3-4 small yellow summer squash or zucchini, about 8 inches long
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 slicing tomato
- 2 cups pasta sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Trim ends off squash, and slice each lengthwise into about 4 pieces, depending on thickness. Salt both sides and let squash sit in a colander set over a sink or bowl for 10 minutes.
- Mix together ricotta, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and basil. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Rinse salt off squash and pat dry.
- Spread 1/3 cup pasta sauce on the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish. Arrange one layer of squash on top, covering as much of the sauce as possible. Spread on half the ricotta, then sprinkle on 3/4 cup mozzarella. Top with 1/2 cup pasta sauce. Repeat layers. Add a final squash layer and spread on remaining sauce.
- Slice the tomato into approximately six thick slices and arrange on top. Sprinkle on any remaining mozzarella.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbly. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
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