Monday, 12 January 2015

Courgette, Lentil & Cottage Cheese Lasagna


I made Jamie Oliver’s Leek Lasagna before Christmas, and although the grown ups thought it was delicious, it was a bit too leeky for the kids.  It also had a fair degree of prep, and wasn’t cheesy enough for me.

So today I have experimented with my own version, which seemed fairly well received by the kids. The courgette is still crunchy, which is what I wanted, as my inclusion of Big Boy’s favourite courgette salad was one of my selling points to him (that, and the argument to a raging carnivore that lentils are a kind of meat - well protein)

100g green lentils
1 large onion
1 large clove of garlic
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 large pot of cottage cheese
3 medium courgettes
1 small clove of garlic
1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
Pepper & salt
Lasagna sheets
Handful of cheddar cheese or parmesan

Cook the lentils according to the cooking instructions.  Take off the heat when cooked and leave to one side, keeping the cooking liquid.

Grate or julienne the courgettes.  I did mine with a cutting disk in the food processor.  Add the small garlic clove crushed or grated, a pinch of salt and ground pepper, lemon juice, and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Toss together and leave to one side.

Finely dice the large onion and garlic clove. Fry gently with 1 tbsp olive oil to soften.  Add the chopped tomatoes, cooked lentils, and any remaining liquid.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Season to taste.

Finally, before assembling, stir the cottage cheese into the courgette. And preheat the oven to 200C or 180C Fan.

When assembling, I like to put as many pasta sheets in as I can manage as I find most recipes only use about 6 sheets of pasta which my other half complains is not enough.  So, last time I made it I mentally divided both my tomato sauce into 4, and my cottage cheese mix into 3.  Starting with a layer of tomato sauce I put a layer of lasagna sheets onto this, then a layer of cottage cheese mix with a layer of lasagna sheets on top.  I repeated this twice more to end up with a few ladlefuls of tomato sauce to put on top and then sprinkled this with a handful of cheddar cheese. 

Putting lasagna sheets on top of every different layer I reckon I ended up using 6 layers of lasagna so 18 sheets in total.  I might possibly half the layers next time for the simple reason that the courgette and cottage cheese layer was a bit dry, and without being cooked in a sauce, the courgette remained too crunchy/recognisable for the kids.  Putting the cottage cheese mix straight on top of the tomato sauce, then lasagna sheets, should result in a more creamy sauce?  Divide your tomato sauce and cottage cheese into 4 if doing this.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden and bubbling.  British tradition seems to be to serve it with garlic bread, but if you’ve managed to put in as many lasagna sheets as I did you probably don’t need any!

 Twitter: Leesa@sunhillcurry

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