Zucchini Pasta Bake

When I'm craving lasagna but don't want to go through the extra effort of building it and ensuring it will slice into perfect pieces, this is my go-to. The noodle bundles come out of the pan perfectly, and the zucchini adds a healthy element but blends right in. They're little pillows of heaven!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

2 large zucchini

Kosher salt

2 cups ricotta

3 garlic cloves, grated

1 cup finely grated Parmesan

1 cup grated provolone

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, leaves and tender stems

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems

Freshly ground black pepper

One 1-pound box lasagna noodles (about 16), boiled according to package directions until al dente, drained and patted dry

One 24-ounce jar tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to remove long strips of the zucchini lengthwise using a peeler and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels; you should have about 32 strips of zucchini. Season the zucchini with salt and set aside.
  3. Combine the ricotta, garlic, 1/2 cup Parmesan, provolone, lemon zest and juice, thyme, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup of the parsley and freshly ground pepper to taste in a medium bowl and mix with a rubber spatula or large spoon.
  4. Connect two slices of zucchini lengthwise end to end, overlapping them slightly. Place a lasagna noodle on top of one end of the zucchini. Spread 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture onto the noodle. Starting at one end, roll the noodle up, tucking in the remaining zucchini around the noodle to seal it. Repeat with remaining zucchini, noodles and cheese mixture.
  5. Pour 1 cup tomato sauce over the bottom of a large high-sided ovenproof skillet. Lay the pasta and zucchini bundles on top of the sauce. Top with the remaining tomato sauce and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and bake until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling, 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Top with remaining 1/4 cup parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy! 
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