I know what you're thinking..."Not another zucchini recipe!"
Well, it's the season for zucchini here and my veggie box has been full of them every week. I knew exactly what I was going to make this week. One of my favourites!
This dish is a specialty of my Nanna. Every time she makes it, it is totally perfect, saucy and cheesy with beautiful crisp edges. Whenever we have a big function or gathering, everyone always asks Nanna to bring her zucchini parmigiana. My family absolutely loves it!
It is like a pasta free, vegetarian lasagna. I am a lover of lasagna, and I would say this and traditional pasta lasagna are on par! Even my meat-loving brother adores it. And better still, it's also gluten free!
There are a few components to this recipe and although it does take a bit of time to put together, it is well worth it. Zucchini fritters, Napoletana sauce and mozzarella cheese are a match made in heaven! Try it out and I am certain you will agree!
For the zucchini:
Zucchini Fritters- (you can find the recipe for the fritters here) cook these as the recipe says, but instead of slicing the zucchini into round disks, cut them lengthways into longer strips.
For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
A small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 ½ tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
200g grated mozzarella
4-5 heaped teaspoons parmesan cheese
The first thing you need to do is cook the sauce, as this needs a bit of time to simmer. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan and add the garlic, tossing around for about 30 seconds to one minute, until fragrant.
Add the tinned tomatoes, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper and stir. Bring this to a slow boil and then turn down the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C, fan forced.
Make the zucchini fritters while the sauce is simmering. (See recipe here.)
Once the sauce and the fritters are ready to go, you can start layering. Scoop half a ladle of sauce into the bottom of a 15cm x 30cm baking dish. Spread this out all over the dish using a spoon. Place a single layer of zucchini fritters over the sauce.
Top zucchini with another ladle of sauce and spread it out evenly over each fritter. Take a handful of mozzarella and a teaspoon of Parmesan and sprinkle this evenly over the top of the sauce.
Add another layer of zucchini fritters, sauce and cheese and continue this process until there is only 1-2cm of space at top of the dish. Make sure you finish with the sauce and cheese.
Cover with a sheet of baking paper and then foil and cook in the oven for about 50 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. It should be slightly golden.
Let it cool in the dish for about 10-15 minutes to give time to set.
Serve with crunchy bread and a green salad.