Eating in / Food / Gluten free / Hendo's / Recipes

Pasta schmasta 2 – Aubergine lasagne

IMG_2362I really wish I could have made this look a bit prettier! But it tasted divine and it’s lighter and healthier than traditional lasagne.

Today was just an assembly job as I already had the bolognese sauce in the freezer. Everybody has a bolognese recipe so I don’t think I need to reproduce mine in full (I will if anybody wants), but I will share an approximation:

Fry some lardons in a large pan in a little ground nut oil (I find it works better than olive oil) until they go a bit crispy. Remove from the pan and brown onions and garlic in olive oil. Add minced beef and cook until there are no raw bits left. I tend to break it up as much as possible, so the mince is nice and small.

Put the lardons back in and add a tablespoon or so of corn flour to soak up the juices. Then add red wine, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree, a generous pinch of veg stock powder, oregano and a large dash of Hendo’s. Then bring it all to the boil and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally. The most important thing is to let all this cook down s-l-o-w-l-y for at least 2 hours with a lid on – that is what makes bolognese taste amazing. You just can’t rush it.

After about an hour you can add the grated carrot and / or courgette, which just sneaks in a bit of veg to the sauce. I have been known to add in a bit of tomato ketchup or even (in my past, God forbid) a pinch of sugar for sweetness alongside some seasoning.

To assemble the lasagne, I sliced an aubergine lengthways, coated it with olive oil and seasoned with S&P, then cooked the slices, several at a time, in my griddle pan. (We love food with lines on it!) Once cool, I assembled the lasagne in a small oven proof dish starting with a thin layer of bolognese, then a single layer of aubergine, then bolognese, aubergine and so on. I think I had about 4 layers of each, ending in aubergine, then I grated lots of parmesan cheese on top. You could make a bechemel sauce but it was a Tuesday evening so I didn’t have much time, and it was plenty moist enough as it was.

It probably took about 20 mins at 180C to make it hot and bubbly with the cheese starting to go nice and brown, but this was only a small dish. We had baby spinach with it but you could serve it with garlic bread to mop up.

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