- 70 minutes
- For 4 people
- 2.5 € / person
What do you think of this variant of the musaka or moussaka ? Although it is not with eggplant, it is just as delicious, I assure you, in a very similar way, preparing it with layers of zucchini. All this thanks to some giant zucchini that my partner Paco has given me, recently arrived from his father’s garden in a town in Ciudad Real. So the recipe is more La Mancha than Greek.
I especially love zucchini, even more so if they are from the garden and are of an acceptable size. In the towns they usually let them grow and then they are a little hollow and lose flavor. But for this recipe they do not go wrong, because we try to make them large and cover a large surface, as if they were sheets of pasta. In zucchini we find potassium, a high proportion of water and a high fiber content, it has a great diuretic value and facilitates bowel movements. To obtain the greatest number of benefits, we must choose to cook them with papillote, iron, steam or oven. These methods will more effectively preserve nutrients.
I have ever told you that we usually tune the bechamel sauce with other flavors that starting from the normal base with milk we add a touch of pepper or tomato, with more flavor and a touch of color. I assure you that it is just as creamy, improves the originality of the dish to cook and highlights the flavors of what we are cooking. Try it at home because you will like it, totally delicious.
Before cooking, preparing the zucchini
- We start with the zucchini, the most important part, which act as the plate of pasta to make lasagna. We cut them into slices about 6-8 mm thick (if you cut them too thin at the end they end up breaking, also later they lose thickness when we fry them).
- In a frying pan add olive oil and when it begins to heat add the zucchini. Fry until golden brown, although they must be tender inside to finish cooking in the oven. We move to a plate with absorbent paper to remove the excess oil. It is important that when we fry them there is not too much oil in the pan because then they will be very hard and we are not interested. We set aside until the final assembly.
Bolognese sauce preparation
- We blanch the tomatoes and once skinless we chop them into brounoisse-style pieces (small squares). Cut the 2 onions and the garlic cloves as thin as possible. We peel and chop the carrots as best as possible, the finer they are the better because they will pass when making the sauce. Season with salt and pepper the meat. We separate all the ingredients each on a plate to prepare the sauce.
- In a saucepan we pour the oil (6 tablespoons) and introduce the onions and garlic, and let it go a bit (3 minutes), introduce the carrots and cook everything very well (5 more minutes). We put the minced meat in the casserole, I usually use a mixture to make it juicier. Add a little chopped parsley and a tablespoon of tomato sauce. Fry for 5-7 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly.
- Add the tomato and the glass of white wine, let everything reduce until we have a thick sauce. About 15 minutes over low heat.
- We check the point of salt and if necessary we rectify. We reserve and let it cool.
Preparation of zucchini lasagna
- While we prepare the bechamel we are preheating the oven to about 180º C so that it is hot when we put the lasagna.
- To give it a special final touch once the béchamel has been prepared, we just have to put a can with the piquillo peppers, with their water and everything (in this case they were garlic) and crush with the mixer until there is a thick sauce of peppers. No need to tell you that it looks great but it loses that strong dairy and butter flavor. I have not used it all and I have prepared with the leftover toast with the bottom of béchamel sauce and a bit of serrano ham … yummy.
- To assemble the lasagna the thing is very simple, we grease the bottom of the source with a little of the oil left over from frying the zucchini and a layer of zucchini slices. On top of one layer of the Bolognese sauce, the next one of béchamel sauce and repeat until you have 3 floors. Finally we finish with enough béchamel, don’t be selfish. And the last layer of grated cheese or a bit of breadcrumbs for gratin.
- We put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 180º C and 5 minutes with the gratin maker on so that it browns. I have prepared it in a round sponge dish, which, as it is removable at the time of presentation, is very good. I advise you to put aluminum foil in the bottom of the oven plate because it comes out quite broth until the lasagna has just been prepared. Then it is quite compact.
There you have it, serve it warm. I assure you that it arrives for 5 people in a generous way and if you have leftovers, it can be heated perfectly in the microwave, a perfect tupper to take to work, a yummy.