Lassaka

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Yes, I know your family will not eat eggplant but this dish is really worth a try. It is, as you may have guessed a combination of lasagne and moussaka and it is perfect for a cold night in front of the footy or a movie with your mates. As far as comfort food goes it does not get much better than this with one crucial difference- ‘Lassaka’ is also very low in both fat and carbs so it is one of the rare foods which make you feel good without adding to your waistline unnecessarily. It is not a glam dish by any means but it really does taste great and is very easy to knock together.  You can also add other roasted vegetables such as capsicum or zucchini if you like. Oh and I should add, depending on what pasta sauce you use, this dish is also gluten-free!

Method:

  • Slice the eggplants into 1 cm lengthways slices. Put in a colander and sprinkle with salt.
  • Fry onion and garlic in a pan and when soft add meat and brown. Add the canned tomatoes and the bottle of pasta sauce. Sprinkle with oregano and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 30 mins.
  • Meanwhile rinse the salt from the eggplant and pat dry with paper towel. Cook in a large fry pan with a small amount of oil. When eggplants are brown, cover the pan and cook until they are soft but not falling apart.
  • Combine ricotta, parsley and parmesan and add some pepper.
  • Assemble in an oven proof dish beginning with a layer of eggplant, top with half the meat and repeat, finishing with a layer of eggplant on top. Spread with the ricotta mix and add some extra parmesan.
  • Cook in a moderate 200 deg oven for about 45 minutes or until golden. Serve with some tomato sauce if it is footy night or some tomato relish, warm crusty bread and a rocket salad if you are going a bit more up-market.

Like most things it benefits from a robust red as an accompaniment.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggplants
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 750 gms lean beef mince
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bottle Bolognese pasta sauce
  • Dried oregano
  • 500 gms low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2/3 cup finely grated low fat parmesan