The Tale of Two ‘Lasagnes’

I have two recipes for your reading value today, because you know how generous I am! Well, some of you might see through the facade to the truth – I am that far behind in blogging the meals I have tried that I am going to be posting double (and triple… maybe even quadruple) posts to try and catch up.

Pumpkin, Sage & Ricotta Lasagne

This is adapted from the cover recipe on the July issue of Delicious magazine, their version was served with buttered walnuts – I thought that would be a bit rich for me, so I just scattered the top of mine with pine nuts, it has enough fat in it as it is without the buttered walnuts! Even without them it lives up to the magazines namesake, so I’m sending this one over to Ruth for Presto Pasta Nights.

Pumpkin, Sage & Ricotta Lasagne (Serves 4)

Preheat your oven to 190C. Cut up 1.2kg butternut pumpkin into 2cm pieces, place on baking trays and drizzle with 2Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/4tsp chilli flakes (or more to taste), sea salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes.

Once cooled slightly, puree in a food processor with 2Tbsp chopped sage & 1/4tsp ground nutmeg. Clean food processor and then process 350g reduced fat ricotta cheese, 1 egg, 1C parmesan cheese, salt & pepper.

Spray a 24cm square baking dish with olive oil, lay 2 lasagne sheets on the base and cover with half of the pumpkin. Add another 2 lasagne sheets and cover with ricotta mixture. Repeat layers, finishing with ricotta mixture. Sprinkle the top with another 1/4C parmesan cheese, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with 2Tbsp toasted pine nuts and bake for a further 15 minutes or until golden. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Why Should I Eat That?

This is quite high in fat, but makes a good occassional meal as it is also high in fibre and gives 4 of your 5 serves of vegetables for the day. It is only moderate in kilojoules as well, you could cut down on the fat and kilojoules a bit by reducing the amount of parmesan cheese you use.

Nutrition Information: (per serve)

Energy 2621.2kJ, Protein 32.3g, Fat (Total) 33.3g (Saturated) 13.3g, Carbohydrates (Total) 48.2g (Sugars) 14.8g, Dietary Fibre 5.3g, Sodium 869.8mg. 4 serves of Vegetables.

Ratatouille Moussaka

This second one is from the September issue of Australian Good Taste magazine. It is their take on the Greek favourite, with added vegetables. To tell you the truth it reminds me of a cross between lasagne and ratatouille, but that could just be because I saw the movie a couple of weeks ago. Either way I’m changing it’s name – because I can. I know that it is a bit loose to be referring to this as lasagne, but it is layered and it’s pretty much lasagne with vegetables replacing the pasta. Any purists who want to complain about me calling it lasagne will be taken with a pinch of salt.

The magazine lists it not only as diabetic friendly, low fat and super healthy, but also as kid friendly. I don’t know how yummy ‘Beef & Grilled Vegetable Moussaka’ would sound to children, but if they have just seen Ratatouille I’m sure they will like the new name. Or call it Remy’s Moussaka and watch them come running to the dinner table. A great way to get them to eat their vegetables! And because this one exceeds the 5 a day vegetable recommendation, I am sending this one over to Cate for ARF/5aDay.

Ratatouille Moussaka (Serves 6)

Preheat grill on medium. Deseed and quarter 600g red capsicum and cut 1kg eggplant & 500g zucchini lengthways into 1cm slices, so they are in long sheets not rounds. Line a baking tray with foil.

Spray a large frying pan with olive oil and heat over medium-low heat. Add 1 chopped onion & 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook, stirring, for 7 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add 500g lean beef mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes or until browned. Add 800g canned tomatoes & 1tsp dried oregano and bring to the boil. Lower heat back to medium-low and cook, simmering, for 30 minutes or until thickened.

Meanwhile, place capsicum skin side up on the lined baking tray and place under grill for 6 minutes, or until blackened and blistered. Transfer to a plastic bag and set aside for 5 minutes to soften the skins. When cool, peel and halve lengthways. Grill zucchini and eggplant in 3 batches for 4 minutes each side and transfer to a plate.

While vegetables are grilling, make bechamel sauce by heating 2C skim milk in a saucepan or the microwave until simmering. In another saucepan over medium-low heat melt 2Tbsp margarine, remove from heat and stir in 40g plain flour. Place back over heat and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until bubbling. Take off heat, gradually pour in the simmering milk and whisk until smooth. Put back onto the heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens and comes to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 1/8tsp ground nutmeg, allow to cool and then mix in 1 lightly beaten egg.

Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12C capacity baking dish with olive oil spray. Combine 45g multigrain breadcrumbs, 3Tbsp parmesan cheese & 2Tbsp reduced fat cheddar cheese.

Cover base with half of eggplant, followed by all of the zucchini. Spread over half of the meat sauce and top with the rest of the eggplant, followed by all of the capsicum. Spread over remaining meat sauce and finish with bechamel sauce. Top with breadcrumb mixture and bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until set and golden. Set aside for 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe may take a lot of preparation and time, but it is a great one to make ahead on the weekend or when you have time and freeze until you need it. To do this, after assembling, just wrap the whole baking dish in 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of foil and chill for 4 hours in the fridge. You could also assemble it in individual 2C capacity dishes for a healthier alternative to frozen dinners when the family isn’t eating together, or there aren’t many of you at home. Label, date and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat thaw in the fridge overnight, remove plastic wrap and foil and bake in oven as per recipe. If it isn’t completely thawed you will need to bake it for a little longer than specified. Alternatively, you could defrost and heat them in the microwave as needed.

Why Should I Eat That?

This one ticks all the boxes for being healthy, in fact Australian Good Taste gave it their ‘Super Healthy’ rating. It is low in kilojoules, total fat, saturated fat and sodium, and high in dietary fibre. It also gives you more than your recommended 5 daily servings of vegetables in just one meal, and – it’s fresh and tastes great! So why not give this one a go instead of your regular lasagne?

Nutrition Information: (per serve)

Energy 1638kJ, Protein 31.3g, Fat (Total) 14.4g (Saturated) 4.4g, Carbohydrates (Total) 29.9g (Sugars) 19.8g, Dietary Fibre 8.7g, Sodium 285.2mg. 6.6 serves of Vegetables.

Printable Recipes:

Pumpkin, Sage & Ricotta Lasagne

Ratatouille Moussaka

5 thoughts on “The Tale of Two ‘Lasagnes’

  1. Your lasagne looks delicious. Using nuts is really interesting. I would never have thought to do that.

    I also really like your second lasagne. I love moussaka and who couldn’t do with eating more vegetables.

  2. I would never have thought of it either, I was just looking for something slightly less fattening to replace the buttered walnuts with!

    And the moussaka, the best thing about it is that you would never know (except that I told you!) that you were eating more than your recommended 5 serves of vegetables all in one sitting, it is still so tasty.

  3. I love the sound of the squash lasagne! But I would be torn between using pine nuts or walnuts. I find it a little strange that the original recipe suggests using buttered walnuts though! Walnuts have plenty of fat in them already. I’d just toast the walnuts and add them like that.

    -Elizabeth

    P.S. Mmmm, ratatouille moussaka sounds really good too, of course!

What do you think?