Lasagne, who doesn’t love it? This was one of my favourite foods growing up and it seems that Joe Wicks was no different. To get a healthy version of a cheese-laden carb-fest appears virtually impossible – well, to me anyway. So how would a ‘healthy’ version of a favourite comfort food go down? Well, let’s make it!
Studying the recipe, it becomes immediately obvious that this isn’t any normal lasagne – in actual fact it’s got a lot of the good stuff missing. No bechamel, no onslaught of mozzarella and parmesan – just meat, pasta and sauce. What the lasagne does contain is a fair whack of veg to nudge you closer to that five a day. Joe’s mum includes courgettes in this recipe but sadly, on the day, I had ran out.
I began as I would making any normal lasagne – by chopping up onions and carrots. The veggies then go into a pan, with a touch of olive oil, to soften. I then tipped the carrots and onions onto a plate freeing the pan up to fry the mince – a whole kilo!
After browning the mince and placing it into the bowl with the veggies, I quickly realised that the frying pan that I’d used wasn’t going to be big enough. This called for my largest pot. I whacked in a load of chopped tomatoes and a few sprigs of basil along with some chicken stock and let the mix bubble away for 20 minutes.
If I had one criticism at this point it would be that the lasagne mix looked a bit dry. Extra tomatoes or stock will see to this but at this point I had ran out of both. The giant lasagne dish that i’d selected wasn’t about to help matters as I became increasingly concerned that I wouldn’t have enough of the meat sauce.
I began to layer the lasagne – beginning with a layer of meat sauce on the bottom. Onto that go the first layer of lasagne sheets and then more sauce to create three layers. As you can see, I was falling short on the sauce front so I had to improvise on the top layer by mixing some tomato puree with water,seasoning and herbs. I just about made it. A cheeky scattering of leftover grated mozzarella completes the dish.
Wrap the lasagne in foil and don’t worry about it for a good 40-45 minutes, easy! After the time had passed my thoughts turned to failed lasagne’s in the past due to insufficient liquid resulting in semi-firm pasta sheets – a little too al dente lets say. Saying that though, the lasagne passed the knife test and once cooled slightly it’s ready to slice up.
I couldn’t believe that A) this serves four people and B) this is healthy. Honestly, I was stuffed to the gills after eating a slice of this and although a bit on the dry side it does taste very good. I reckon a smaller dish and a few more chopped tomatoes or stock and we would have a winner here. The good news also is that you can freeze any leftovers, which I ended up doing. Comfort food on a diet, who knew?