Dinner,  Low-carb

Moroccan (low-carb) lasagna

This Moroccan style low-carb lasagna recipe is a twist on ordinary lasagna. With three kids still living at home, we tend to make a lot of lasagna in my household. Therefore it’s nice to mix it up a bit and bring in new flavors to the Italian classic.

So here, we’ve fired up the aromatic spices typically found in the kitchens of the northern part of Africa. Furthermore, we’ve experimented with substituting pasta sheets with zucchini, making this a healthier, more low-carb and less heavy lasagna. Add a good green salad, and you’ve got an amazingly tasty, good for you dinner that’s entirely pasta guilt free.

Making this Moroccan (low-carb) lasagna for the first time was a triumph. It wasn’t only that it tasted fantastic, it really did, but that was not the best of it. It also gave me a chance to make use of some of all the kitchen tools that my husband says I never use. This recipe is exactly the reason why a foodie canÔÇÖt live without a mandolin slicer and a mortar and pestle. Take that cooking infidel (that is my husband) ­čśë

Moroccan lamb and zucchini lasagna (serves 4)

Ingredients

For the meat sauce:

1 inch square cube fresh ginger
1 ┬Ż tsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 lb (800-900 g) minced lamb
1/2 cup (150 ml) dry white wine
1 cup (250 ml) lamb stock
10 oz (300 g) cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp of freshly chopped rosemary
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

For the b├ęchamel:

2 cups (┬Ż l) whole milk (at least 3.5% fat)
3 tbsp (25 g) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp (25 g) salted butter
1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)
Salt and pepper to taste

Topping and layers:

1 large or 2 small zucchini (green squash) cut into very thin slices lengthwise with a mandoline slicer
┬Ż cup (75 g) finely grated Parmesan
4 oz (125 g) Feta, plus maybe a little extra to sprinkle on top
Fresh cilantro

Directions

For the meat sauce:

1. Put the ginger, ground cumin, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, paprika and turmeric in a mortar and grind the ingredients into a paste. Add the olive oil to help in the grinding process once the ginger is broken up.

2. Pour a little olive oil into a large pan at medium to high and throw in the onions. Fry them till they start to take color.

3. Then add the spice paste and let it simmer for a minute and afterwards add the minced lamb. The minced lamb needs to be browned properly, so take your time. Keep stirring the meat at high heat until it begins to take on a slight brown color and all the juices evaporate.

4. Now pour in the wine and let it simmer for a minute to let the alcohol evaporate. Then add the stock and the rest of the ingredients and let it all simmer at medium heat till most of the juices have evaporated (about 30 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.

For the b├ęchamel

5. To make the b├ęchamel, start by melting the butter over medium heat in a saucepan and then add the flour. Whisk the flour and butter while heating it for a couple of minutes.

6. Then pour in the milk little by little and whisk until the sauce starts boiling. Don’t get impatient and turn the heat up higher, because then I guarantee the milk will burn! Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down even further, and let it boil for about 5 minutes while you keep whisking. This way you lose the floury taste. Now add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Putting the lasagna together

7. Start by preheating the oven to 360 F (180 degrees Celsius).

8. In a 9 x 9 inch (24 x 24 cm) oven proof dish make a thin layer of 1/3 of the meat sauce, and on top of this make a layer of squash slices side by side to make an even layer. On top of the squash goes about 1/4 of the b├ęchamel. Repeat the this process 2 times, but for the last layer of bechamel use the last 1/2.

9. Spread the Parmesan and Feta over the last layer of b├ęchamel, and into the oven the Moroccan lasagna goes. Bake the lasagna at 360 F (180 C) for 40 minutes till the top is golden brown.

10. Sprinkle the lasagna with chopped fresh cilantro and a bit of Feta crumbles just before serving.

Enjoy!

Looking for another great lamb lasagna? Try our lasagna with lamb, pumpkin and lots of sage:

Moroccan low-carb lasagna with lamb and zucchini - no pasta

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