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 RECIPE
1 green courgette
1 medium aubergine
Cheddar cheese grated
Mozzarella cheese grated
250 gms minced beef
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
A bunch of parsley, chopped
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
Chilli flakes (optional)
1. 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.
2. Toss the sliced aubergines and courgettes into some olive oil. Heat a grill till it’s hot and grill them on both sides.
3. Cook your meat sauce by first frying the onions and garlic in some olive oil. Add the minced beef and brown them all over.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Gather all your ingredients together, the grilled veges, grated cheeses and meat sauce.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Cool slightly before eating, garnish with chopped parsley.