Food

Low Carb Beef & Zucchini Lasagna

Date: 23 Apr 2014 Author: Jacqui Categories: Food, Main Dishes Comments

2014-03-09 23.57.29

I used to love Lasagna, and I know we can still make it with GF ready Lasagna sheets or even with home made pasta, but it still would be a heavy and high calorie dish.  This lighter version of Lasagna uses Zucchini instead of pasta sheets and the white sauce is made with Ricotta.  A perfect guilt-free and gluten free dish! (Serves 3 to 4 as a main dish)

For the Meat Filling


Ingredients

  • 450g of lean minced beef
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 100g chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 4 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp GF Beef Stock Powder
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chilli or cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Italian mixed herbs
  • Half cup roughly shredded fresh basil leaves

Method


Start by sauteeing the onion and garlic in a pan until translucent.  Remove and in the same pan, add some more olive oil and cook the minced beef until browned.  Put back in the onions and garlic and add the mushrooms.  Cook for a further couple of minutes and then add the spices and herbs, stir to combine.  Add also the red wine, the tomato puree, the crushed tomatoes, the sugar, bay leaf and the stock powder. Bring to a boil, reduce the flame and let it simmer until you prepare the zucchini and the white sauce.  Make sure that the sauce is rather dry as the zucchini will release some liquid whilst this dish is baking. In the meantime, preheat oven to 180C.

For the Zucchini Layer


Ingredients

  • 4 to 5  Zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning

Method


Top and tail the zucchini and using a mandoline slicer, slice them thinly lengthwise.  Now  you can either roast the zucchini slices on lined baking trays or else you can use a grill pan and do them in batches.  Either way, drizzle oil over the zucchini, sprinkle with salt and pepper and using your hands, distribute the oil all over the slices.  Roast for about 10 -12  minutes or grill until lightly browned.  Do not over cook them.  Set aside.

For the White Sauce


Ingredients

  • 300g of Ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • Seasoning
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Pepper
  • 1/4 cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (plus extra to sprinkle on top)

Method


Combine the ricotta, beaten egg and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add the nutmeg, garlic pepper and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. There are many types of Ricotta.  Use your judgement.  If you see the mixture too thick, add a splash of milk to make it spreadable.

To Assemble the Lasagna


Lightly grease a large baking dish and place two layers of zucchini slices at the bottom.  Put half of the meat sauce on top of the zucchini slices, spread it evenly and scatter some of the shredded basil leaves on top.  Put some of the white sauce, a thin layer over the meat filling and place more zucchini slices on top of that. Repeat with the meat sauce, basil and another thin layer of the white sauce. End with the last layer of zucchini, topping it with the remaining white sauce.  Sprinkle over the freshly grated Parmesan on top.

photo 1(21)

Cover with aluminium foil and bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake further for another quarter of an hour till it becomes slightly golden.

When you take it out of the oven, leave to set for at least 10 to 15 minutes so it will slightly firm up.

photo 2(26)

Be careful when you cut and serve.  Using two spatulas will make it easier to transfer from dish to serving plate.  Otherwise you can make individual dishes and you can serve it in the dish itself.