A (sort of) healthy alternative to traditional lasagne, this recipe replaces pasta with thin slices of courgette. The filling is creamy mushrooms flavoured with garlic, thyme and Parmesan cheese. It was easy, tasty and cheap – a winner for a Sunday night!
This recipe serves two people but it’s simple to size it up.
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 small cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 handfuls of closed cup or chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tsps dried thyme
- 100ml double cream
- As much grated Parmesan as you like
- 1 1/2 courgettes
Preheat oven to 180C (gas mark 4).
Slice along the length of the courgettes into 1cm thick pieces. Depending on the size of the courgette, you should get about five or six slices from it. On a plate, lay out the slices and cover with roughly a tablespoon of salt – this will remove saw of the water from it so it doesn’t come out in the lasagne later.
Meanwhile, sweat the onion down on a medium heat in a frying pan until translucent and smelling amazing. Add the thyme and garlic. Stir every now and then to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and leave to turn into a delicious concoction.
Once the mushrooms become soft and slightly brown, turn the heat off and leave the pan to cool for a couple of minutes – this will ensure that, once added, the cream doesn’t get too hot and split. Then add the cream and Parmesan. Turn the heat back on but on a low level. Season to taste with salt and pepper, but be careful with the salt as the Parmesan is already quite salty and should be considered as a seasoning in itself.
By now the courgettes should have lost a lot of their moisture. Press down on the slices with your hand to get any last drops out and then drain the water off the plate. Pat them down with kitchen roll to remove any remaining salt (another reason to be cautious when adding salt to the mushroom mixture). Fry for 5-10 minutes on a medium heat in a drizzle of olive oil to make sure they are cooked all the way through after baking.
Now lay 3-4 courgette slices onto the bottom of a small rectangular baking dish. Spoon on enough of the creamy mushrooms to cover the courgette. Then layers more slices of courgette and a final layer of the mushrooms (or do as many layers as you can squeeze out of your mixture and courgettes) and top with a few more slices of courgette. Cover with a drizzle of olive oil and some more grated Parmesan.
Pop it in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and the sides are bubbling.