Sunday, 13 April 2014

No pasta lasagne

No pasta lasagne by Carole's Chatter

This dish is what it says on the tin – a lasagne but with no pasta!  Instead of the sheets of pasta I used slices of courgette (zucchini).  This was a spur of the moment invention when I realised that I had no lasagne sheets in the pantry (having forgotten I had thrown them out thinking they had been there too long).
It actually worked out quite well.  I may do it again but would reduce the liquid content a bit since while pasta soaks up liquid, zucchini actually does the opposite.

No pasta lasagne by Carole's Chatter
 
For the cheese sauce I used a powdered packet sauce to which I added milk, sour cream, grated cheese and nutmeg – I just cooked it lightly until it combined into a sauce when stirred with a wooden spoon.
I sliced enough courgettes to make 2 layers in the lasagne pan – and squeezed a bit of lemon juice over them to stop them browning.  I tried to make the strips about twice the thickness that  lasagne is.  As I was cutting them by hand the thicknesses varied a bit but that didn't seem to cause a problem.
I then diced up the end bits of the courgette to go into the meat sauce.  I fried off ½ a finely diced carrot, 1/3 of a finely diced red onion, a chopped red bell pepper (capsicum), some cloves to garlic, a touch of chilli (obviously optional), some leftover cooked corn kernels and the diced bits of zucchini.  I put it into a bowl while I browned the beef mince (ground beef) in batches.  It is a bit of a pain doing it in batches but it does give you a better result.
Once all the meat was browned I added back the vegetables, a can of chopped tomatoes (would halve this next time), some tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, a touch of dried rosemary and a splosh of wine.
I simmered the meat sauce for about half an hour.

No pasta lasagne by Carole's Chatter
 
Then you just need to assemble the 'lasagne'.  About 1/3 of the meat sauce goes in first, then a layer of zucchini strips then a layer of cheese sauce.  Then repeat once more.  I finished the top with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs (which you would obviously omit if you were gluten free) and some knobs of butter. 
I think all lasagnes are better if you put them in the fridge for an hour or two before baking them.  But that's just my opinion.

10 comments:

  1. I've eaten lasagna that used zucchini instead of noodles, but I've never baked it myself. Thanks for the tip about the liquid, I probably wouldn't have thought of that.

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  2. This is clever - I think it's the kind of thing that if I TOLD my family that the pasta had been replaced by zucchini they would go YEUCH, but if I said nothing they would never notice.

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  3. I've replace lasagna noodles with eggplants before, but I haven't tried it with zucchini. Do you think if you salted, rinsed, and squeezed the zucchini prior to layering that it would release less water?

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  4. That looks delicious - I can't believe there's no pasta in there!

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  5. I've had alternated to pasta before and zucchini is a good choice. I have used corn tortillas before and really liked that. Think slices of potatos should work as well. Thanks for all the details.

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  6. Oh, that sounds really good!

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  7. Check out this pasta alternative too http://www.frugalqueen.co.uk/2014/04/could-you-give-up-pasta.html

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  8. Great ideas for gluten-free lasagne in your post and in the comments!

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  9. What an interesting use of zucchini, I never would have thought of that.

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  10. This is an excellent idea for my low-carb husband. I like that you used the ends of the zucchini in your mixture. Thanks for linking!

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Your comments are most welcome. Cheers