I have been making this dish for almost 20 years. It hasn’t changed much except I used to make my own sauce. Now I use Prego traditional Italian sauce (Lower calorie version) because it tastes good and is low sugar (and gluten free for Nancy). I use a 9x13 dish with high sides so it makes a lot. Start by peeling the zucchini. I don’t use the skin because it’s tough. I will use this peeler and prep the zucchini to get the maximum thickness this type of peeler will allow. It’s actually best if you can peel it the day before so it can dry out because managing the moisture is the biggest pain. If you’re in a hurry, lying out the noodles and salting them will help them dry. I’ve also put them in a convection oven on a perforated sheet for 3 or 4 minutes to do some drying.
Nancy likes ground turkey, I like venison, so we compromise and I make it out of ground turkey. She likes 93% fat free but I sneak in 97% because I can without her knowing. My batch requires 30 ounces of meat and a whole jar of Prego. Brown the meat and break it up very fine. I use a Pampered Chef meat masher for this and it works so good I bought a back up. Throw in the sauce, get it to boiling and then reduce the heat and let it go uncovered to help dry it out. The dryer the better (trust me).
Next, get a big bowl and put 16 ounces of shredded mozzarella and crack an egg in there and mix it up. Then add 20-24 ounces of 2% cottage cheese and mix it up. Now would be a good time to preheat the oven to 350.
Now you’re ready to build this masterpiece. Start with a thin meat layer on the bottom. Next a layer of Zoodles (Zucchini noodles) and then a layer of the cheese mixture. Next meat, Zoodles and cheese again, and then meat, Zoodles and cheese one last time. Then your looking at this white cheese surface right? Open a second jar of Prego and cover the cheese mostly. Now you can lay your last layer of noodles and if you want to get fancy on this one you can lay them diagonally and lace them if you want. Next sprinkle a good amount of shredded Parmesan on top and salt and pepper if you like. Bake for 45 minutes uncovered at 350. If you want to crisp it flip to broil the last 10 minutes or so.
Let it set for at least 10 minutes after removing. If you eat it soon after preparing it you will need a bowl. We will use food scissors to cut it when it’s fresh and hot because a knife will mess it up. However, the day after you can cut it with a knife and warm it on a plate, no problem. If you eat a whole pound of it in one sitting and use my ingredients listed then the nutritional information will be close. Enjoy!!!