food & drink · recipes

The Lasagne that is not a Lasagne

This might make some of you recoil in horror; I really don’t like pasta. ‘Hate’ would be going too far… I’ll eat it now and then, but don’t expect me to enjoy it. Noodles are heavenly, I’ve even been known to just munch on raw blocks of instant noodles, but pasta? No thanks.

But, what was I to do when I started craving the tasty and rich goodness that is lasagne?

Yummy pasta-free lasagne!

Well, one of my favourite lazy light dishes is zuchinni noodles (thinly sliced ribbons of courgette) with a splash of soy-sauce and toasted sesame seeds. Thinking back to that inspired me to switch the pasta in my lasagne (I shouldn’t really call it a lasagne, but I can’t think of anything more imaginative) for little rounds of zucchini. If you’re going to make this in a square or rectangular dish, then it might be better to cut the zuchinni lengthways.

Sadly, I don’t have square dish. The Pound Store failed me when I had a look (they have them for sale but up t’ north, but not down here) and I was too tired to then march all the way to TK Maxx and see what they had in stock. I need to replace my casserole dish that got smashed, so I’ll need to go their eventually, but I’ll leave that for another week. Square-dish-less, I used a bowl and crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t explode or self-combust in the oven. It didn’t, thank fully, and I had a super tasty dinner to enjoy.

The serving here is for only one person, but double, triple, quadruple, etc. if you’re feeding more or want to make extra for later in the week. I find halves of vegetables keep for at least a week in the fridge, and usually I buy 300g or 500g packs of meat, divide it into portions then freeze them for later use.

Recipe under the cut.

Pasta-free Lasagne
(Serves one)

  • 80g – 100g Pork Mince (or any mince meat of your choice)
  • 1/3 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped (or 3 – 5  chopped plum or cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • pinch dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp fat-free greek yogurt
  • pinch fresh coriander
  • 1/2 zuchinni, sliced thinly
  • cheese, to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC / 390ºF / Gas Mark 6
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, with a little oil. Add the onion and garlic, and fry for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the mince-meat and fry until meat has cooked through.
  3. Add the carrot and tomato, and fry for another 3 – 5 minutes. Whilst the carrot and tomato cook, bring a separate saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
  4. Add the 1/3 cup of water, tomato purée, marjoram, and smoked paprika to the meat mix. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, then simmer until water has reduced. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the Greek yoghurt and fresh coriander.

    I was really tempted to just it eat like this... must resist!
    I was really tempted to just it eat like this… must resist!
  5. Add the sliced zuchinni to the pan of boiling water, and after 1 1/2 minutes, remove from the heat and drain. You just want to soften them a little, not cook them fully, so don’t worry if they look un-cooked.
  6. Spoon 1/3 of the meat mix into your caserole/lasagne dish (or bowl, if you’re like me), then layer half of the zuchinni over the top. Add another 1/3 of meat, then zuchinni, then finish with the remainder of meat and top with cheese. I used Camembert, but cheddar, mozzarella or anything that melts into a super-gooey mess will work.

    Okay, I know that's a lot of cheese, but I like cheese. I'll burn it off, somehow...
    Okay, I know that’s a lot of cheese, but I like cheese. I’ll burn it off, somehow…
  7. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes in the middle of the oven -depending upon how big your dish is- or until the top has started to brown and the cheese has melted into a tasty golden layer of goodness.
  8. After removing the dish from the oven (it’ll be hot, so don’t be silly and try remove it with a tea-towel like I did – ouch!), let it sit for 3 – 4 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

When I went to buy cheese before making this, I was originally planning to buy French Brie, but I continuously forget that London is not like the north where I can buy a small block for the same price as some cheddar. It weighs less, so I know it technically costs more, but it’s so much tastier. For some strange oh-well-I-guess-this-is-London reason, though, Camembert was cheaper per 100g so… Camembert it was! It’s even nicer than Brie if you ask me, so I wasn’t going to complain…

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3 thoughts on “The Lasagne that is not a Lasagne

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