Courgette Lasagna

img_4524This lasagna uses thinly sliced courgettes in place of pasta sheets. The white sauce is made from cream, eggs and pesto with no flour needed. So it’s grain free and low carb.img_4486Ingredients.

  • 4 large courgettes or scallopini.
  • 500-600gms of minced beef or lamb.
  • 2 large onions.
  • 2 tins of tomatoes.
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg or you can use 3 whole eggs but it won’t be quite so creamy.
  • Fresh or dried herbs for the meat sauce, thyme or parsley or oregano. 1 tablespoon of dried or a small bunch of fresh, chopped.
  • 3-4 fat cloves of garlic.
  • 300ml of cream, 225ml for the white sauce and 75ml for the meat sauce.
  • 150gms of strong cheese such as mature cheddar. Grated.

For the pesto. (You could use a bought pesto if you like)

  • a very large bunch of fresh parsley.
  • 1/2 cup of almonds, best soaked overnight.
  • 6 tablespoons of good olive oil. I am using Weka olive oil produced in Nelson.
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 small clove of garlic.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Start by making the meat sauce, chop the onions finely and add to a large saucepan with a good quantity of coconut oil and fry until softening. Peel and chop the garlic and add to the onions. When they are all beginning to brown add the mince. Continue to fry on a highish heat, breaking up the mince as you go.

When the meat has browned all over add the tomatoes and the herbs plus a teaspoon of salt. Continue on a medium heat simmering the mixture, I like to use a potato masher to really break up the mince.

While the meat sauce is simmering make the cream sauce. First make the pesto, remove the leaves from the parsley and discard the stems, drain the almonds then add everything to a food processor and blitz until you get and nice smooth pesto. Don’t forget to add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Add  225ml of the cream to a bowl, add the eggs and pesto then stir to combine.

Continue to simmer the mince sauce until most of the liquid has gone then add the remaining 75ml of cream.

Next you need to thinly slice the courgettes, you can either do it by hand with a sharp knife or use a peeler to get really thin strips.img_4504Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna, you will need a deep baking dish, some olive oil and a brush plus the prepared meat sauce, cream sauce, cheese and the sliced courgettes.

Start by brushing the dish with some of the oil then put in a layer of courgettes and brush them with a little olive oil, then top with 1/3 of the meat sauce.

Next add another layer of courgettes brushing with olive oil and top with half of the cream sauce, continue with a layer of courgettes and another 1/3 of the meat sauce then courgettes followed by the rest of the cream sauce then courgettes and the final 1/3 of the meat sauce. Brush a little olive oil onto each layer of courgettes as you go.

Lastly top with the grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes at 180C fan.img_4459The cheese will have melted and be golden. This can be baked for longer but the courgettes will be softer and not hold their shape.  This dish freezes well.img_4524Delicious served with salad.

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