I love one pot meals. There’s more brain space, less washing up and an ease to serving.
I love fancy, planned out, dish using, over technique-ed cooking too, but there is a hectic, chaotic moment in life when dinner time rolls around when you have small kids which leaves no room for food prep. I often am amazed that I manage to get meals up at all.
Lasagne is the perfect prep ahead meal.
Traditionally meat based, gluten filled pasta, heavy and largely unhealthy, my version has paired it back, where it counts but has left all the flavour and richness. Gluten free, greasy free, and veggie full. Just the way I like it.
My version has been kicking around my kitchen for a few months now. It follows on from the homemade ricotta recipe (here) of a few posts ago. It’s gluten free with the traditional pasta giving way to ribbons of zucchini. There is one layer of gluten free pasta used to give body, although to create a paleo dinner simply replace with 1 cup of pre cooked quinoa. (I am aware that quinoa is in a similar boat with traditionalist paleo’s as potatoes. As quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain I am happy to side with the quinoa is paleo friendly. Although feel free to substitute with whatever).
Even without the meat or copious quantities of white sauce and cheese, the lasagne has a depth. It’s actually surprising how much it tastes just like a lasagne. The white sauce creaminess comes from the ricotta which is spiked with Kale, onion and garlic, it also adds a hit of sweet savoury to the dish through the natural sugars in the milk. The roasted pumpkin gives a great caramelised flavour. Fresh herbs add freshness.
I often make this in a quiet moment in the day ready to throw into the oven when the crazy that is dinner time arrives.
Ricotta, Roast Pumpkin and Zucchini Lasagne (Gluten free)
600g Pumpkin peeled, chopped 2cm pieces
1 serve of Homemade Ricotta (here) or 300g store bought ricotta
1 bunch Cavalo Nero Kale finely chopped stalks removed
1/2 Brown Onion finely diced
1 Clove Garlic crushed
4 – 5 medium Zucchini in line ribbon lengths
1 400g tin Organic Diced Tomato
1 cup Gluten free pasta shells or 1 cup pre-cooked quinoa
3 sprigs Basil leaves
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 handful of Coriander leaves
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan / Tasty cheese grated
Preheat oven to 200C
Place the pumpkin in a heat proof glass dish, coat with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 40 minutes until soft and coloured. Remove and set aside.
In a small frying pan add a dash of olive oil and bring to a medium heat.
Add the diced onion and cook for 7 minutes until soft and translucent.
In a bowl combine the ricotta, cooked onion, 1 egg, kale and garlic, salt and pepper, mix until fully incorporated.
In a ceramic rectangular baking dish add 1 tablespoon of the diced tomato and spread it across the base to reduce the chance of sticking.
Add a layer of zucchini to cover the base completely, yet evenly.
Top with the Roast pumpkin in a single even layer. Sprinkle the Coriander leaves over the top.
Repeat with another single but even layer of zucchini.
In a single layer, evenly distribute the pasta or quinoa.
Pour over 1/3 of the diced tomato
Sprinkle with some shredded basil leaves.
Repeat with another layer of zucchini ribbons.
Spread the Ricotta and Kale mixture evenly to cover with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula.
Pour over the 2nd 1/3rd of the diced tomato.
Top with the final layer of zucchini ribbons.
Pour over a 1/4 cup of chicken stock.
Pour over the remainder of the tomato, swirl around with a back of the spoon to evenly disperse.
Scatter the basil leaves randomly over the top.
Sprinkle with the finely grated Parmesan/tasty cheese.
Bake in the middle of oven for 1 hour or until done and golden.
If you don’t have kale, english spinach, baby spinach, silverbeet or beetroot leaves are all great substitutes just use in the same quantities.