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Friday, August 7, 2009

zucchini parmesan with fresh tomato sauce

well that was one of the best ideas i've had in a while. rob's mom sent us a couple of beautiful courgettes from her garden, which made two perfect little crunchy pies. i had last week's mozzarella to use up, along with tomatoes that i'd blanched, peeled, and frozen last fall. delicious!

fresh tomato sauce

3 cups (or more) peeled, chopped tomatoes
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh oregano
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup red wine
pinch sugar
salt and pepper to taste

saute onion and carrot in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. add garlic and bay leaf, saute until fragrant. puree tomatoes in blender or food processor, maintaining slight chunky texture. add tomatoes, fresh herbs, wine, and seasonings to vegetables in pot.

bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer on low for 2+ hours, until thickened. adjust seasonings.

zucchini parmesan

2 zucchini, sliced into 1/4" thick coins
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp each dried oregano and basil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
2+ cups tomato sauce

combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and salt. set up breading station-- flour mixture in first bowl, beaten eggs in second bowl, panko bread crumbs in third. bread zucchini in that order (dip in flour, then eggs, then coat with panko) and pan fry in olive oil at medium heat until golden. will need to add olive oil after each batch.

in small greased casserole (or two individual-size cast iron pans), layer zucchini, all mozzarella, half of parmesan, and half of tomato sauce. top with a second layer of zucchini, remaining tomato sauce, and all but a couple of tablespoons of parmesan.

bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

if cooking in individual pans, invert plate on top and flip pan over to serve. sprinkle with the rest of parmesan and enjoy.

the only change i would make is to have more tomato sauce on hand to spoon around the finished dish. otherwise, so scrumptious!

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