I’ve been wanting to make a faux lasagna like this for absolutely ages and finally got round to it this week. Hooray more time on my hands at last. As lasagna is such a long process of cooking, constructing and then baking that to do it in a week night once I’m home from work is just a ridiculous plan – I’d be eating at midnight! Anyway, following my mammoth supermarket trip at the weekend I decided to cook up the Bolognaise whist I was baking the salmon on Sunday evening, then refrigerate it so I had the sauce all ready and re to layer up tonight. A bit of advanced planning gets you everywhere! (Tonight I also made 4 mini loaves of Avocado Bread and hard boiled some eggs for work snacks)
I had the idea for this, as when I first made the Creamy Basil Pesto I wondered if I could thin the sauce down a little into a faux bechamel sauce (usually flour, butter and milk) which I could then layer up with some vegetables instead of pasta.
I was hoping that the creamy top would crisp up like normal lasagna – not quite because I think the sauce needed to be thicker to rest better on top of the courgettes. Anyway crispy top or no crispy top… This. Was. Delicious.
This would also be perfect for a dinner party as the dish can be prepared in advance then bunged in the oven once the guests have arrived.
And here’s how I did it…
Ingredients (serves 4-6, with a side salad or steamed broccoli)
For the Bolognaise:
- 500g of lean beef mince (ideally organic)
- 1 onion, diced,
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon of mixed herbs , fresh basil (I do love em)
- 3 carrots, grated
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- tablespoon tomato purée
- 1 aubergine, thinly sliced lengthways
- 2 courgettes, thinly sliced lengthways
- First make the bolognaise.
- Sauté the onion and garlic in a saucepan till softened.
- Add the meat and cook until browned all over.
- add in the mixed herbs, basil, chopped tomatoes, about 200mls of boiling water, the carrots and the tomato puree,
- Bring to the boil and then simmer, stirring frequently for 40 minutes.
- You can make the lasagna straight away or alternatively once cooled you can then refrigerate or freeze this mixture for future consumption or lasagna-ing.
- Now to make the lasagna.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius
- Place half of the Bolognaise mix into the bottom of an oven dish, add a layer of aubergine.
- Then top with the remainder of Bologanise sauce, then the courgette.
- Meanwhile take the creamy basil pesto and blend with the coconut milk, and the arrowroot (used to thicken the sauce). Heat gently on the stove to ensure well mixed.
- Pour the sauce over the entire lasagna dish ensuring well covered.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the Bolognaise is bubbling.
Served with steamed broccoli, spinach, grated red cabbage, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice and extra fresh basil.