PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOKING TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes

MAKES 8 servings

This family-size low-carb lasagna is a great make-ahead dish to reheat as needed. Layers of baked zucchini replace traditional pasta noodles, and add a lovely texture to the finished dish; you’ll barely even notice you aren’t eating pasta. For a dinner party, serve the lasagna with a simple Caesar salad with Parmesan crisps (see here for the recipe, but omit the salmon).

ZUCCHINI “PASTA” LAYER

6 large zucchinis, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch (6-mm)-thick planks (a mandoline works perfectly for this)

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

BOLOGNESE MEAT SAUCE

2 pounds (900 g) grass-fed ground beef (80% lean)

½ white onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, or ¼ heaping teaspoon dried thyme leaves

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (28-oz/785-g) can diced tomatoes

1 cup (240 ml) all-natural salted chicken stock

RICOTTA & PARMESAN LAYER

20 ounces (565 g) full-fat ricotta cheese

8 ounces (225 g) Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for the top

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Prepare the “pasta” layer: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the zucchini slices on the baking sheets in a single layer. Season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with the oil. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, flipping the slices after 20 minutes. The idea is to dry out the zucchini as much as possible so that the finished lasagna is not soggy. When the zucchini is done, remove it from the oven and turn the temperature up to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Meanwhile, make the Bolognese: Place a large saucepan over high heat. Put the ground beef in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned, crumbling the meat as it cooks. Drain the excess oil, then add the onion, garlic, herbs, and pepper; continue to cook the mixture for 5 more minutes, until the onion has softened.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken stock to the beef mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a steady simmer and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened, stirring often.
  4. Make the ricotta-Parmesan layer: Mix the two ingredients together and season to taste.
  5. Assemble the lasagna: Line a 12 by 8-inch (30.5 by 20-cm) baking pan with parchment paper. Start with a layer of meat sauce, then alternate layers of zucchini slices, cheese mixture, and meat sauce, finishing with the cheese mixture on top. Sprinkle some extra grated Parmesan on the top of the lasagna and bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
  6. Serve hot. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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