Today’s Special: Zucchini Lasagna from Marc Vetri

May 15, 2014 | By | Comments (3)

Vetri rolls out delicate sheets of pasta for his lasagna. Portrait: Andrew Kahl

There’s an easygoing quality to the sometimes-derided zucchini that Marc Vetri loves. “It’s just so versatile,” says the celebrated Philly chef-restaurateur, who presides over such restaurants as Vetri, Osteria, and Alla Spina. “It works with everything: fish, meat, salads, or on its own.”

Vetri likes to cut them in half lengthwise and grill them. “They eat like a steak, with a fantastic meaty texture,” he says. For salads, he shaves it on a mandoline; seasons with salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, and fresh mint; and serves it as zucchini “pappardelle,” a fresh, light veggie play on the wide ribbon pasta.

In his lasagna with zucchini, Vetri pairs the squash and his exquisite house-made pasta with ultrarich Burrata, a shell of fresh mozzarella with sweet cream and cheese curd at the center. In our lighter take, we combine mozzarella with fat-free ricotta and a little mozzarella liquid to mimic the creamy Burrata texture. Try the original dish at Vetri in June in Philadelphia’s Center City East.


Lasagna with Zucchini. Photo: Randy Mayor

Lasagna with Zucchini
Hands-on: 20 min. Total: 65 min.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups julienne-cut zucchini
2 cups julienne-cut yellow squash
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1/4 cup water from fresh mozzarella container
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
2 1/2 ounces grated fresh Parmesan cheese (about 10 tablespoons)
1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fresh lasagna noodles (6 noodles)
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add zucchini, squash, thyme, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove zucchini mixture from pan, and cool completely.
3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, ricotta, mozzarella water, and mozzarella in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Combine 1/2 cup ricotta mixture and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
4. Arrange 2 noodles in an 8-inch square glass baking dish coated with cooking spray; trim to fit if needed. Top with half of zucchini mixture and half of ricotta mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Top with the ricotta-Parmesan mixture. Cover dish with foil. Bake lasagna at 375° for 30 minutes; uncover. Bake, uncovered, an additional 15 minutes.
5. Turn broiler to high. Sprinkle lasagna with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into 6 slices.

Serves 6
CALORIES 326; FAT 14.2g (sat 6g, mono 4g, poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 17g; CARB 32g; FIBER 3g; CHOL 61mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 598mg; CALC 212mg






  1. Tim Cebula

    Hi Karla–
    We aim to recreate the creamy burrata filling Vetri uses in his version by blending cheeses and fresh mozzarella water. After thawing, the texture of the cheese filling may change, possibly separating and becoming watery. We did not test a frozen version in our test kitchen, however, so I’m just speculating. If you decide to try it, please let us know how it goes!

    July 28, 2014 at 11:03 am
  2. Karla

    Can this be frozen for a make ahead meal?

    July 28, 2014 at 6:54 am
  3. Houdini with Zucchini | weewamps

    […] Zucchini Lasagna (we subbed rotisserie chicken for the yellow squash) […]

    July 14, 2014 at 8:50 am

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