Sometimes I have this tendency to buy certain ingredients that were not on my shopping list originally and decide what I’ll do with them later. Sometimes it turns out to be a good thing, sometimes it backfire on me, leaving me with an overloaded pantry of odds and ends. But I recently got myself a green courgette or zucchini and also an aubergine because these two somehow always go together. I decided to whip up a lasagna bake. A little note of disclaimer here, this is NOT a vegetarian pasta, it’s just that rather than using pasta sheets, I used grilled aubergines and courgette instead.
I also do not expect the slice out a lovely piece where you can see all the layers of the veges. This is not THAT kind of lasagna. I suppose if I wait for it to cool a little, you might get that effect, but I wanted to dive right in while it’s still hot and oozy. I love it that way. The flavours all meld together and you get chunky vege pieces to go with the marinara meat sauce.
I made this all in my lovely LC pot so I actually baked it covered first to get the heat all the way through the thick centre but you can use a normal flat baking dish. At the last 20 mins or so, open the lid and brown the top. This was even better the next day!
Vege Lasagna Bake
- 1 green courgette sliced
- 1 medium aubergine sliced
- Olive oil
- Cheddar cheese grated
- Mozzarella cheese grated
- Parmesan grated
- 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 250 gms minced beef
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- A bunch of parsley chopped
- Black Pepper
- Chilli flakes optional
- Olive oil
- Slice the aubergine and courgette into round slices, about a cm thick. Salt the aubergines and let them sit for 30 mins. Wipe off the excess moisture before cooking.
- Toss the sliced aubergines and courgettes into some olive oil. Heat a grill till it's hot and grill them on both sides.
- Cook your meat sauce by first frying the onions and garlic in some olive oil. Add the minced beef and brown them all over.
- Season with salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Add the marinara sauce and chilli flakes if you will. Stir and let it simmer for 10 mins. Taste and adjust.
- If you don't have ready made marinara sauce, just add a can of tomato puree and a tablespoon of tomato paste to the cooked beef and amp up the seasoning.
- Gather all your ingredients together, the grilled veges, grated cheeses and meat sauce.
- First, lay some grilled veges at the bottom, pour the meat sauce on top and spread it evenly. Top with the mozzarella and cheddar. I only use parmesan for the top because it gives a much nicer browning effect.
- Reapeat the process all the way to the top of the pot. I used a potato masher halfway to even out the layers and press it down to make it pact and tight. Make sure to end with a layer of grilled veges and the parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake in a 200C pre-heated oven first with the lid covered, if you're using a cast iron pot, for a good 45 mins. Put the pot on a tray to catch any spillage. Then open the lid and bake for another 20 mins or till the top has browned.
- Cool slightly before eating, garnish with chopped parsley.