A delightful summer zoodle and short rib spin on the popular Italian comfort dish.
Happy National Lasagna Day! I must admit. When I heard that Lasagna was being celebrated smack dab in the middle of the summer, I thought it a bit strange. So in an effort to try to make this dish a bit more summer friendly, I thought I’d try my hand at a low carb version with all of the great tasting Italian flavors yet slightly light on the guilt. 🙂 I also had a special request for a decadent lasagna so this Short Rib Zoodles Lasagna covers both objectives, right?
You may ask, short ribs, really???? I know, I know…not a typical summer dish but when I saw them at the butchers counter in the middle of July, I said someone must be buying them, right? Who knows? Maybe they were positioned just for me!! 🙂
I am a HUGE fan of succulent short ribs if you didn’t already know. I love taking the time to braise them in a wine-based cooking liquid just until they’re almost falling off of the bone and melt in your mouth tender. Patience is the key with these boys, but they’re oh so worth EVERY minute! Did you know that short ribs used to be considered and sold as a cheap cut of meat? That’s until the public figured out how to break these tough babies down with braising methods to create one of the most tender, delicious cuts. Now that everyone knows how tasty and flavorful they can be with a little patience, the demand AND price have skyrocketed tremendously. I am still a faithful fan and friend of these babies until the end! 🙂
I seared them first and since it’s the middle of the summer, I decided to prepare them in the slow cooker to keep the house nice and cool. I simply tossed them into the slow cooker with some aromatics, red wine and beef broth before church and came home to the most deliciously smelling aroma! It took GREAT efforts to not dig right in. I had to remind myself and the hubby that we couldn’t eat them just yet. His cute, sad face perked up when I told him that they were for lasagna the following day.
This recipe combines these deliciously braised short ribs, sharp pecorino romano and mild mozzarella cheeses, fresh zucchini zoodles, sweet peppers, porcini mushrooms, basil and marinara sauce to create a delightful summer spin on a popular Italian comfort dish. So now who says you can’t enjoy lasagna right in the middle of the dog days of summer?!?!?! Say Grace and enjoy!!
- Short Ribs
- 3 lbs. bone-in Angus Beef Short Ribs, top layer of fat removed
- 2 T. olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1 large onions, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 c. red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
- 2 c. beef broth
- 3 large zucchini
- kosher salt
- Cheese Sauce Filling
- 1 and ¼ c. half and half
- 1 c. mozzarella
- 1 and ½ c. Pecorino Romano.
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
- ½ orange pepper, diced
- 1 c. porcini mushrooms sliced
- ¼ c. fresh basil, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 2 and ½ c. Rao Homemade Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
- 2 and ½ c. shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1 and ¼ c. freshly shredded pecorino romano, divided
- ½ c. parmesan, grated
- olive oil, for drizzling
- Ribs: In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Generously season short ribs with kosher salt and pepper on all sides.
- When the pot is smoking hot, add the short ribs and sear for a few minutes on all sides until brown.
- Once browned, remove the short ribs and set aside.
- Add the onions, garlic, and rosemary to the same pot and saute for about 5 minutes or until tender.
- Increase the heat and add the wine to pick up the bits of flavor on the bottom of the pot. Then add the beef broth and bring to a boil.
- Transfer the liquid and the ribs to slow cooker set to low and braise for about 6 hours or until almost falling off of the bone.
- Remove the ribs and the onions from the cooking liquid and allow to cool enough to the touch.
- Shred the ribs. You should end up with about 1 lb. of shredded meat.
- Zoodles: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- With the help of a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise into 24 (1/4 inch) slices. Place on 2 large cookie sheets lined with parchment and sprinkle with a small amount of kosher salt. Roast for about 15 minutes to bring remove most of the moisture from the zucchini slices.
- Cheese Sauce: In a large saucepan, bring the half and half to a simmer over medium heat, reduce the heat and add 1 cup of mozzarella and 1 and ½ cups of Pecorino Romano.
- Whisk the mixture until smooth and remove from the heat.
- Add short ribs, peppers, mushrooms, basil, garlic, Italian seasoning and stir until combined. Taste it and then season with salt and pepper only if necessary.
- Assembly: Turn the oven down to 375 degrees and spray an 8½ by 11 casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Pour ½ c. of marinara into the bottom of the dish and spread evenly.
- Layer 6 zoodles on top of the marinara, ¼ (about 1 cup) of the meat mixture, ½ c. of mozzarella and about ¼ c. of freshly grated pecorino romano.
- Repeat 4 times ending with marinara.
- Top with ½ cup of mozzarella, ½ c. of parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Cover with foil sprayed with cooking oil.
- Bake for 25 minutes and then uncovered for 10 minutes. Say Grace and enjoy!!
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis Short Rib Lasagna Rolls recipe