Friday, 12 January 2018

Courgettes Not Carbs

We watched Tom Kerridge's recent programme about weight loss, and he made a delicious looking lasagne using slices of courgette instead of pasta. He topped it with ricotta  [a cheese I can eat] It looked tasty, so I decided to give it a try.
This lighter 'lasagne' saves on calories without compromising on taste. Each serving provides 436 kcal, 45g protein, 20g carbohydrates, 18g fat, 6g fibre and 6g salt.
800g beef mince
1 tbsp oil
2 large onions finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, grated
2 carrots finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 tbsp caraway seeds
3 tbsp tomato puree
700ml beef stock
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 sprigs rosemary leaves picked and finely chopped
200g button mushrooms halved
2 large courgettes, thinly sliced on an angle
2 beef tomatoes sliced into 12
250g ricotta
1 ball mozzarella grated [125g]
10g/⅓oz grated Parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
Spread the mince out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake on the top shelf for 40 minutes, breaking it up every 10 minutes. It should be a deep-brown and even colour. Remove and set aside. Keep the oven on.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the onions for 10 minutes, or until soft, adding a splash of water if they start to stick.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes then add the caraway seeds, stiring for 30 seconds. Stir through the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute.
Add the mince, stock, tinned tomatoes, stock cube, herbs and mushrooms. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 25–30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to a rich ragu.
Pour the ragu into an ovenproof dish, about 23x33cm/9x13in and 5cm/2in deep. Layer the courgettes then the tomatoes on top, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Season the ricotta with salt and pepper and dot evenly over the tomatoes. Scatter over the mozzarella and Parmesan and bake for 35 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown.

I tweaked the recipe slightly. I'd forgotten to buy mushrooms so missed them out- and had regular tomatoes instead of beef ones. 
I made it in 6 individual dishes - 3 topped with ricotta, and three topped with ricotta plus grated cheddar [I had no parmesan or mozzarella to hand] and I have frozen four of these.
Other than that my recipe was the same- it tasted lovely, and I served a green salad alongside.
I shall look out for TKs book in the library, in case he has other good recipes in it!


  1. Oooh, it sounds utterly delicious - all the more so because of your mushroom exclusion!! I do so like courgettes!!x

  2. I'm making a similar type of dish tonight, but with aubergines and lentils in stead of courgette and mince. Do you know Jack Monroe's Cooking on a Bootstrap? This is 31p a serving,apparently. Good for the thrifty soul!

  3. My daughter uses turkey mince for this and she uses The Hairy Bikers recipe which they devised a few years ago when they set out (and succeeded) on the weight loss journey. I watched the programme, Angela, but I’m not sure that he is helping people to curb their sweet tooth eg the muffins from last week seemed plenty sweet with the sugar substitute. That said, he’s looking really healthy and he’s a very restful presenter to watch. Catriona


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