I was planning on actually making meatloaf for dinner, but then to our pleasant surprise, our vegetarian daughter was going to be home for dinner. Quick change in plans. I decided to do an adaptation of Martha Rose Shulman’s Zucchini Parmesan and make a vegetarian Zucchini Bolognese.
With the abundance of tomatoes in my garden, I would normally make my own sauce, but I was pressed for time and happened to have a really good vegetarian bolognese sauce in my cupboard. So I used that. This would have to rely on my zucchinis for its home-grown element.
Except for my 6 year old, who was in an “I am going to hate whatever you make” mood, dinner was a big hit.
Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s Zucchini Parmesan
2 to 2¼ pounds zucchini (from the garden)
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
2 1/2 – 3 cups vegetarian bolognese sauce
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment.
Trim ends off zucchini and cut in half crosswise, then into lengthwise slices, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.
Season on both sides with salt and pepper and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange zucchini slices on baking sheets in one layer and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
Roast for 12 minutes, until lightly browned and easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees.
To assemble the dish, oil a 2-quart gratin with olive oil. Spread 1/4 cup sauce over bottom of dish. Arrange a third of the zucchini in an even layer over tomato sauce. Spoon a third of remaining sauce over zucchini and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
Repeat with 2 more layers, ending with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top and edges.
Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Serves 4 – 6.