Beef Pasta-Less Lasagne

This is a variation on a classic lasagne, which uses ingredients and cooking methods to provide a healthier and gut-friendly alternative without losing any of the flavour. For an even healthier alternative leave out the mozzarella or be less generous with the Parmesan.
Beef Pasta-Less Lasagne
serves 4-6


Olive oil spray, for cooking
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
400g lean minced beef
1 tablespoon tomato puree
400g tin Italian chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large aubergine, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthways
2 courgettes, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthways
3 tablespoons cornflour
600ml low-fat milk
125g ball mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tossed rocket salad, to serve (optional)


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Add light spray of oil to a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the celery and carrot for 6-8 minutes until starting to pick up a little colour. Stir in the thyme and season with a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Add the minced beef and mix until well combined, then sauté until well browned, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the tomato puree and cook for another minute or two, stirring. Pour in the tomatoes and add the Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, arrange the aubergine and courgette slices on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Spray with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until cooked through and tender.
Put the cornflour in a pan and whisk in the milk over a medium heat. Season with a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper and bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Spoon half the beef mixture into an ovenproof dish and arrange half of the vegetables on top in an even layer. Cover with half of the white sauce and scatter over half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and then bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Serve straight to the table with the salad, if liked.

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