Courgette Lasagnotta

Yes, I know. The name is extremely clichéd and you wouldn’t have expected it from me, being Italian and all that. I have to say, though, that in my defence this is an original creation of mine and, as such, deserves a creative name. What with it being a lasagna made with ricotta and courgettes, the name came by itself. Also, ‘lasagnotta’ sounds particularly cute in Italian.

Right, the concept behind this recipe is that I had some courgettes and some ricotta in the fridge. I had read somewhere that you could make a good lasagna out of it, but as I did not recall neither where I had read it (I devour food literature) nor how much of each, I decided to improvise. The result is very good and I am particularly proud of it. Please feel free to adapt the recipe, I used all the little pieces of leftover cheese I found in my fridge, but you are more than welcome to stick to just one variety. I also think a very good addition to the lot would be smoked salmon, as it goes really well with courgettes and cream.

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Ingredients

  • 3 courgettes
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 x 250g tub of ricotta
  • 100ml sour cream
  • 6 lasagna sheets – check how big your oven dish is before deciding how many you need!
  • 100g full-fat cream cheese
  • 100g mixed grated cheese (I used goat’s and standard cheddar)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • Parmesan, to taste

Method

  1. Finely grate the courgettes and slice the spring onions. Warm some oil in a frying pan, tumble in the vegetables and cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, for about 20 minutes. The vegetables should have softened but not turned into a mushy mixture. Halfway through the cooking time, add a pinch of salt and grate some black pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, boil some water in a kettle and pour it into the tin you will use for the lasagna. Add a drizzle of olive oil and slowly plunge the lasagna sheets in the boiling water. Leave for about 7 minutes or until softened. Alternatively, you can boil them for about 5 minutes. Once softened, arrange on a plate and brush with olive oil to avoid them sticking to one another.
  3. Now prepare the ricotta sauce. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, cream cheese, sour cream and the mixed grated cheese to obtain a slightly dense but soft mixture. Add the paprika and chilli powder and mix that in.
  4. Once the courgettes are cooked, start layering your lasagna. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  5. Use about one third of the courgette mixture to spread on the base of the oven dish, then top that with a layer of lasagna sheets (3, in my case). Spread about half of the ricotta mixture, then top scatter another third of the courgette mixture. Cover with a second layer of lasagna sheets, then repeat the ricotta mixture and the courgette one to complete.
  6. Grate some Parmesan on top, then cover the oven dish with some foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
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