When one of your beautiful little angel friends comes back from abroad with a bottle of Danish beer….you cook with it. This is what I did when my good friend Meghan returned the to US with Bøgebryg Brown Ale. This beer is chock full of caramel malt flavors with a kick of smokiness, making it perfect for a marinara sauce. Since this recipe was so easy, I decided to turn it into two: Brown Ale Marinara and a zucchini lasagna that uses said marinara. Enjoy the meatiness below.
1 lb lean ground beef (93/7)
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
2 tbsp fresh basil, julienned
1 cup beer
1 tsp salt (add more later to taste)
½ tsp black pepper
With a little butter or oil, brown the beef in a large pot.
While it is cooking, you can work on chopping up the herbs and onion.
When the beef is browned, add the chopped onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Next, add the herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and beer. Cook on medium heat until thick, about 10 minutes.
Presto! Brown Ale Marinara.
For Zucchini Lasagna:
Marinara made above
2 cups ricotta
1 ½ cups mozarrella
1 cup parmesan
4-5 zucchini squash
Preheat the oven to 375. Thinly slice the zucchini squash. Lay them out and sprinkle with salt. Let the slices sweat for about 15 minutes and then pat dry with a paper towel.
Start up the grill and get it extremely hot, around 500 degrees or so. Cook the zucchini on one side for about 2 minutes so they get beautiful grill marks. These will serve as your noodles.
In a 9×13 dish, layer zucchini, then ricotta, marinara, mozzarella, and repeat. The final layer should go: zucchini, ricotta, marinara, parmesan. You could even skip ricotta on one of the middle layers for a meatier lasagna.
Layers on layers.
Cook at 375 covered for 20 minutes and uncovered for another 15. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Just a heads up, mine didn’t come out in beautiful slices. I imagine it is because zucchini ‘noodles’ aren’t as stiff as real noodles. Nonetheless, it was still scrumptious and I ate way too much.