I have a soft spot for zucchini recipes. My parents grew zucchini in the back garden, and the end of summer would inevitably bring the discovery of one massive, oversized zucchini squash that had managed to grow undetected under a canopy of vegetable leaves. It meant for a lot of zucchini recipes at once, much like my kitchen right now with ricotta cheese – zucchini bread, zucchini pizzas, and zucchini lasagnas. This recipe reminded me of those dinners, and while our balcony garden is zucchini-less, I do have a ton of ricotta still in the fridge, and I can go to the grocery store.
Unlike traditional lasagna, this is an elegant rather than messy dish to eat – it holds together and looks gorgeous on the plate. Serve it with a green salad and steak for a swanky dinner, or discover it in your fridge on a weekend afternoon for a glorious hungover lunch. This tart understands versatility.
Lessons learned: I resent the time it takes to blind-bake a tart shell, especially when it just gets soaked by my not-reduced-enough tomato sauce and my not-drained-enough zucchini coins. I think you would resent that too, so I left out the blind-baking from the following recipe – but, by all means, blind-bake away. If it doesn’t get soaked by the filling, it’ll make for a crisper, crunchier crust. This is also a spicy slice of pie! If you don’t like that in your food, reduce or opt out of the red pepper flakes in the sauce.
from 101 Cookbooks
2 medium zucchini, sliced into very thin coins
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
one 14oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups pastry flour or spelt flour
1 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1 tsp fresh herbs, minced (oregano, basil, thyme, etc)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ice water
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, divided.
1. Drain zucchini – In a medium bowl, combine zucchini & 1 tsp salt. Dump the salted zucchini into a colander and allow it to drain.
2. Make the tomato sauce – In a small saucepan, combine garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes & salt. Place it over medium-high heat and cook until it sizzles. Add crushed tomatoes and cook at a simmer for 10 minutes or until it has reduced and thickened.
3. Make tart shell – In a large bowl, combine flour, 1 tsp salt, lemon zest and chopped herbs. Stir in the olive oil. A bit at a time, using a fork to combine, add the ice water. Gather the dough together into a ball, and transfer to a lightly floured cutting board. Roll into a 13-inch circle-like shape and carefully transfer the pastry into an oiled tart pan/pie plate.
3. Fill the tart – Spread 1/2 of the ricotta along the base of the tart shell. Top this with 1/2 of the tomato sauce. Using a paper towel to soak up the water from the zucchini coins if they’re still sweating, arrange 1/2 of the zucchini overtop of the tomato sauce. Top the tomato sauce with remaining ricotta, the remaining zucchini, and finally the remaining tomato sauce.
4. Bake the tart – Bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to rest on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.