Heat a large oven-safe, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat with a spritz of olive oil. Add onion and cook for two minutes until fragrant and tender. Add eggplant and salt. Cover and let cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Push veggies to the side and add ground beef to the pan, letting it sit for a couple of minutes to brown a bit. Sprinkle with dry seasonings, and break up the meat, stirring until cooked thru. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for one more minute. Add vinegar and let it sizzle, then stir in the canned tomatoes (first blending on low if using whole tomatoes.) Turn the heat to low to let it simmer.
To a blender or small food processor, add the cottage cheese, parmesan, and a splash of milk to help it blend. Process until smooth. (Or if your family doesn’t mind the texture of cottage cheese, you can skip this part and simply combine your cheeses.) Stir the cheese mixture into your skillet.
Slice your zucchini into very thin rounds. I love using a simple little hand-held mandoline for this but you can also slice them by hand. (The thinner the better since we’ll hardly cook these!) Add the zucchini to the skillet, carefully tossing them into the mixture. I like to turn the heat off at this point. But if you sliced them by hand and they’re a little thicker, you can let them cook for a couple of minutes until tender to your liking.
Turn off the heat and add your mozzarella. Pop the pan in the broiler for a few minutes until it’s brown and bubbly. (Or you can just cover the skillet and let the cheese melt while you gather everyone for dinner!) If you like your zucchini more tender, skip the broil and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
Enjoy with some fresh basil and a little extra parmesan! Add a fresh green salad and some crusty bread for the perfect meal.