Cheesy Zucchini Tofu “Lasagna”
It’s scores of fireflies at dusk
And glass in bare feet
It’s warm baguettes from the shop down the street
And mosquito bites on ankles
It’s riding bikes to the beach with no shoes
And laying in bed on hot nights under cool fans
It’s swimming until your toes pickle in the salt
And teenagers saying they’re bored
It’s rainy day visits to the library for more videos than you’ll ever watch
And wondering if the jellyfish sting
It’s eating blackberries until your fingers stain purple
And checking for ticks
It’s leaving bikes on the side of the road that nobody steals
And too many people in too small a house
It’s going to the oyster shack by ferry, not car
And waking up to toddlers laughing or crying or both
It’s digging for clams
And cooking and cleaning, only to start cooking again
It’s missing the people back home
And loving the people you’re with
It’s buying up every last zucchini at the farm stand
And making something too good not to share
Cheesy Zucchini Tofu “Lasagna”
It makes little sense to do this sort of oven cookery in the heat of summer, but the results are too tasty not to (plus it comes together with ease). Slabs of zucchini play the role of pasta, fresh Mozzarella gets swapped in for ricotta, and tofu makes the dish both light and sustaining. The whole thing gets smothered in tomato sauce and baked until bubbly. My kids love it just as much as I do. If you like a kick of heat, stir a big pinch of chili flakes or a few teaspoons of minced Calabrian chiles into the tomato sauce. I like to serve this with a warm baguette for sopping up all the tasty juices.
- 4 large zucchini (5 medium)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- 16 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and sliced into ¼-inch thick slabs
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 12 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 3 cups homemade or store-bought marinara sauce, 24-ounce jar (See Notes)
- ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim off the very top and bottom of the zucchini. Cut them lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slabs. Put on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle on ½ teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to coat everything. Spread them out on the baking sheet. It’s ok if they overlap a little.
Lay the tofu on a separate baking sheet and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, the remaining salt, and more black pepper.
Bake the zucchini and tofu for 10 minutes.
To assemble, lay half the zucchini in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan in one snug layer. Lay all the tofu, evenly spaced, on top of the zucchini. Spread half of the tomato sauce over everything. Lay on all of the Mozzarella in one layer. Lay the remaining zucchini in the pan. Spread on the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes.
I’ve recently discovered Rao’s brand pasta sauce and am hooked. If you can find it, use it to make this lasagna. I’ve used both the Tomato Basil and the Roasted Eggplant Sauce.