( SERVES 6 )
This lasagna is amazing, all the joys of a traditional lasagna without the bloated tummy! Inspired by a Irena Macri recipe.
|1 large||Parsnip, Sliced|
|1 large||Eggplant, Sliced|
|1 tsp||Sea salt|
|2 Tbsp||Extra virgin olive oil|
|5 Tbsp||Extra virgin olive oil|
|½ cup||Basil leaves|
|6 small||Button mushrooms, Sliced|
|2 cups||Baby spinach|
|3 medium||Zucchini, Sliced vertically into ribbons|
|1½ cups||Ricotta cheese|
|3 Tbsp||Parmesan cheese, Grated|
|10 small||Cherry tomatoes, To garnish|
Beef And Tomato Sauce
- Heat oven to 180°C (355°F). Place a layer of parsnip slices with a little ghee in a deep lasagna tray and pre-bake in the oven for 15 minutes, this will help to soften them slightly before we build the rest of the layers. Set aside.
- To make the sauce, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and sauté onion with a pinch of salt for 5-8 minutes, until slightly caramelised. Add 1 tsp of ghee and bring the heat up to high. Break the beef mince and add to the frying pan. Use a spatula or a potato masher to stir and break the mince apart into small pieces, as it tends to clump together during cooking. Cook for about 5–6 minutes, until browned.
- Add red wine, garlic, pepper, paprika and salt to cooking meat and fry for a further 3-4 minutes. Add tomato passata, bring to boil and turn the heat down to simmering temperature. Cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle eggplant slices with sea salt and set aside for 10 minutes to draw out some of the juices. Rinse and pat dry. Heat the oven back to 180°C (355°F).
- In another frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp ghee. Fry the eggplant in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, until light golden brown. Add more olive oil and ghee as you go along. Set aside, by this stage all our layer ingredients should be ready.
- Take the baking tray out of the oven and start layering the lasagna in the following order: pre-cooked parsnips, ⅓ of tomato meat sauce, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, mushrooms, the rest of the meat sauce pressed down evenly, baby spinach, zucchini, drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper. Cook in the oven, at 180°C (355°F), for 35–40 minutes. If using ricotta and grated Parmesan cheese, add on top of the lasagna at the 20 minutes cooking-time mark. Increase the heat to 200°C (390°F) for the last 10–15 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil and a few cherry tomatoes. Serve with a side mixed salad. Cook’s notes: Tomato passata is basically a fresh tomato puree but you can use diced tomato instead, just process them into smoother consistency in a food processor or blender.