I know what you’re probably thinking … lasagna is not that simple. Well, yes and no, but in this case, it’s a yes. The ingredients are straight forward, as is the process of putting it together, but do plan ahead time-wise because it has to bake for at least 45 minutes. That’s my one and only forewarning.
I didn’t go off of any recipe for this because it seemed too easy to even bother, and guess what? I was right. To make it even easier, you can sub your favorite marinara sauce for the homemade sauce (I like Cucina Antica or Monte Bene brand – both have no sugar added and are preservative/additive-free). Alternatively, you can use a whole can of chopped tomatoes instead of just 1/2 cup and two fresh tomatoes. I had an open box of Pomi tomatoes in my fridge, which is why I only used 1/2 cup. Luckily, I had two fresh, beautiful tomatoes that came in my CSA box this week to add to the leftover tomatoes. With this addition, I had the perfect amount of sauce. Also, feel free to leave out the 24-hour yogurt cheese. SCD 24-hour yogurt is one of the the few dairy products I can and do eat, but feel free to omit or sub it for whatever you like. 24-hour yogurt isn’t something folks usually have on hand anyway, nor can you buy it in the store.
It’s funny cause I kinda made the yogurt cheese by accident, without even knowing what I was doing. I was heating up some organic whole milk on the stove for yogurt like usual, which I’ve done at least 100 times, and suddenly I noticed the milk starting to separate. It looked watery and the whey and curd were separating from each other. I have never had this happen before and was a bit puzzled. The milk was still good, didn’t smell bad and hadn’t even reached its sell-by date yet, so I wasn’t worried about that, but I had a strong suspicion it would not turn into yogurt. I proceeded on and added the cultures after it cooled and then put everything in the yogurt maker. When done culturing, 24-30 hours later, I put it in the fridge. When I looked at it later on, I noticed that the entire top half of the yogurt container was filled with whey. I dumped it out and strained the contents. What’s left was cheese, and not a typical smooth yogurt cheese (which I’ve made before with whole goat’s milk – it’s yummy), but a drier and grittier cheese. It was like dry curd cottage cheese that had been put into a food processor. It tasted fine, but strong and almost parmesan-like. At that moment, I felt determined to use it for a lasagna. I thought it’d work perfectly. Plus, I wasn’t too drawn to the idea of eating this cheese on its own because it tasted too strong. Anyway, it was a strange mishap that turned out to be a success in a different way. It’s possible my milk separated because it got too hot too fast or the pot wasn’t thoroughly cleaned, even though it looked clean.
- 2 tsp grass-fed ghee
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1/8 inch thick)
- 1/2 C SCD 24-hour yogurt cheese, optional
- dash of dried basil
For the sauce:
- 1/2 C Pomi brand chopped tomatoes (or brand of your choosing)
- 2 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp grass-fed ghee
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- dash of red pepper flakes
- Heat two tsp of ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and two minced garlic cloves. After a minute or so, add in the grass-fed ground beef. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Once meat is browned after several minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
- For the sauce, if making homemade, heat one teaspoon of ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic clove and sauté for 30-ish seconds.
- Add in both the Pomi and freshly-chopped tomatoes. Stir in the sea salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes.
- After a couple minutes, add in the tomato paste.
- Continue to cook for several minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a 8×8 or 9×9 pan, spread about 1/4 cup of sauce over the bottom. Top with a layer of zucchini slices and then top with all of the meat mixture. Next, pour about 1 or 1-1/2 cups of sauce over the meat and top with a second layer of zucchini.
- If using cheese, spread a thin layer evenly on top of the zucchini. If not using cheese, top a 1/2 cup of sauce or so on top of the zucchini. Garnish with dried basil on top.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 – 60 minutes. Let sit for about 10 – 15 minutes after removing it from the oven.