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Pasta-Less Courgette Lasagne


Serves 8

  • 450g lean beef mince
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium courgettes
  • Cooking spray or oil mister
  • 1½ cups (375g) low-fat ricotta
  • ¼ cup (25g) grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cups (450g) grated light
    mozzarella cheese


1. Heat a large, deep nonstick frying pan over high heat. Add the meat, season with ½ teaspoon of the salt and cook, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as it browns, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the meat in a colander and wipe the pan with kitchen paper.

2. Put the pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Return the meat to the pan, add the tomatoes, basil, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer uncovered 10 minutes, until thickened.

3. Meanwhile, slice the courgette lengthwise with a mandoline into 2.5mm-thick slices (you should have at least 30 to 35 long courgette ribbons). Lightly salt the courgette with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and set aside for 15 minutes. Blot the courgette with kitchen paper.

4. Preheat a barbecue to medium heat (or preheat a grill pan over medium heat).

5. Oil the grill grates or spray the grill pan with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Grill the courgette until cooked and slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and press to absorb excess moisture. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas 5.

6. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan and egg. Spread a good spoonful of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 23 × 32 × 6cm baking dish. Make a layer of the courgette over the sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread a third of the ricotta mixture over the courgette and sprinkle with a quarter of the mozzarella. Make another layer of courgette, top with a third meat sauce, a third ricotta mixture, a quarter mozzarella. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients for a total of 3 layers. Finish the lasagna by topping with the remaining courgette and meat sauce. Cover the dish with foil.

7. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake 20 minutes uncovered. Add the remaining mozzarella and bake uncovered until bubbling and the cheese is melted, 10 more minutes. Allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into 8 pieces.

For more recipes from Skinny Taste: Light On Calories, Big On Flavour by Gina Homolka (Harper Thorsons, £18.99), click here