Hubs maintains that I have a problem with certain food textures.
We were at the dinner table, running through the list of my most-hated foods:
“Tomatoes?” Too fleshy!”
“Cucumber?” “Too watery!”
“Eggplant? “Too spongy!”
After a few minutes of this I began to concede his point.
Until this lasagne, courgettes (or zucchini as you Americans like to call them) made the list for the same reasons as eggplants and cucumbers. Spongy and watery. A double fail.
However they held up really well in place of pasta here. So well in fact that I barely tasted them – they were just a part of the structure and easily crowded out by a delicious, rich sauce, moist beef, fresh basil and a hearty cheesy crust.
It’ll still be a while before I warm to eggplant though.
Easy Zucchini & Beef Lasagne (serves 4)
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 large courgette/zucchini
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 6 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 large, white onion, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 cups full-fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, beef and garlic. Fry until the beef browns completely. Season well then stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, mushrooms, basil and oregano. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach, cook until it wilts then take the pot off the heat.
- Trim the ends of the zucchini then carefully slice vertically to create long, thin strips (use a mandolin if you have one. I didn’t and they were far from perfect strips, but it comes out okay in the final dish. Just try to get them of equal thickness).
- Spoon a layer of the meat mixture into an 8in x 8in casserole dish. Cover with a layer of zucchini strips. Add another layer of meat then another layer of zucchini.
- Finally, spoon the ricotta on top of the zucchini, making sure it’s completely covered. Sprinkle parmesan over the top and bake at 375 for 35 minutes until the cheese browns. Let cool slightly before cutting and serving.
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