Ground Elk & Vegetable Lasagna
If you haven't tried ground elk, you should! Fortunately, I can find it pretty easily at one of our grocery stores (Harris Teeter). It's a bit pricey, but it's super lean and has a unique flavor that is nice to spice things up sometimes. In the cold, dreary weather, we were craving comfort food. I thought - why not do lasagna, but with elk this time? It turned out really well! You can obviously substitute the meat for beef, turkey, or whichever you prefer, but if you have the chance to try elk - do it! Enjoy!
NOTE: I made this in an 8" square baking dish because I only had half a box of noodles. However, after cutting them down to fit the smaller dish, I used the cut pieces and made another mini lasagna. This specific recipe should be enough filling for a 9 x 13", and assuming you have a full box of noodles.
1 pound ground elk (or whichever lean meat you want to use)
1/2 zucchini, chopped into small bites
1 cup shredded carrots
1 clove garlic, minced
12 oz. lasagna noodles (you may only use 9-12 depending on your layers)
~18 oz.) marinara sauce (I LOVE Rao's Sensitive Formula Marinara)
1 egg, lightly beaten
15 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
dash of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup grated parmesan
~1 cup shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese mixture
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tb olive oil
fresh basil, for garnish (optional)
Cook the noodles as instructed on the box. When al dente, drain them and place on parchment paper or wax paper so they do not stick. In a saute pan, brown the ground elk until cooked through. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Once cooked, drain and set aside. In the same pan, add the olive oil and cook the garlic for approximately 2 minutes over medium heat (don't let it burn). Add the zucchini and carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes until they get a little more soft. Add the meat back to the saute pan. Add approximately 1/4 cup or so of the marinara sauce and stir in with the vegetables and meat. Remove from the heat. In the meantime, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
In a baking dish (9x13), spread enough marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish to provide a light coating. Place one layer of noodles, dot with the ricotta mixture, spread the meat in a thin layer, and top with a thin layer of sauce. Repeat this process starting with the noodles, and moving through the sauce, two more times. Finish with a layer of noodles, marinara sauce and the grated parmesan and shredded mozzarella and provoline. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for approximately 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10-15 until cheese is melted and browned a little. Top with fresh basil and serve!