Lasagne is a firm favourite with everyone. Unfortunately with all that pasta, creamy sauce and fatty beef it can be a huge meal! I have made my own version here, replacing the pasta with vegetables. All the Italiano purists that I know will be up in arms, but for me this is a great dish and it leaves me feeling full of energy!
Finely chop the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Heat up a big saucepan and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the vegetables and sweat down for around 5 minutes, at a medium temperature.
Heat a frying pan up until very hot and cook the seasoned beef without oil in batches, then add the beef to the saucepan. The point of cooking the beef in batches is to get a good colour on it. This adds more flavour.
When all the beef is in the saucepan, turn up the heat and add the wine. Cook off the alcohol, and then add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaf and oregano. Season and simmer for 30 minutes or until rich and tasty.
Thinly slice the courgettes lengthways. Season and lightly char-grill or sear on each side, then leave on a plate until assembling time. Drain off the peppers and also add to the plate.
Now make the cheese sauce. Heat the milk up gently with a good grating of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix the corn flour with 50ml of milk and whisk into the milk Continue cooking until thickened. Add the mustard and half the cheese. Check seasoning and set aside.
Now for the fun part! Take a baking tray or heatproof earthenware dish and start layering up the ingredients. Start with a layer of meat then peppers, then meat, then courgettes and finally cheese sauce. Top with the rest of the cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until bubbling
If you are a committed carb addict then you can replace the peppers and courgettes with the usual lasagne pasta sheets, just bake for 40 minutes at the end.
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