Tuna and courgette lasagne recipe
This tuna and courgette lasagne recipe was created by Liz during a summer holiday. She writes:
Necessity is the mother of invention. I conjured up this tuna and courgette lasagne recipe while on holiday in Italy one year. Everyone was starving and there was little in the kitchen except for pasta, a jar of tuna, a tub of ricotta and a few small courgettes in the garden.
Courgettes come into season in the summer and contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, magnesium and folate.
Unlikely as it sounds, this thrown-together dish proved a huge hit with young and old alike. It became one of the family’s most often requested lunch or simple supper dishes.
In Italy, we had the advantage of fresh sheets of lasagne pasta readily available in even the smallest supermarket. Afficionados may like to make their own with a pasta maker (a great gift for a keen cook) or look out for pre-packed fresh lasagne in delis. Otherwise you can also use the dried, quick-cook variety, although the result is slightly stodgier.
The measurements in this tuna and courgette lasagne recipe are not precise – use a little more or less of the ingredients as you choose. I haven’t added salt as the anchovies are naturally very salty.
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- Albacore tuna is considered the only truly sustainable kind, slightly milder in flavour than Skipjack, Bluefin or Yellowfin, but higher in healthier omega-3s
- Courgettes contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, phosphorus, zinc and niacin
- 225g or 300g tin or jar of tuna
- 4-6 large juicy anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- Small knob butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 750ml whole milk
- 400-500g courgettes
- 275g ricotta
- 375g lasagna dried or fresh sheets
- 2 tbsp freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
- Finely ground pepper to season
This dish is simply layers of a ricotta béchamel sauce, tuna and anchovy mix, and courgette slices, so prepare each of the three components before compiling.
- Start by salting the courgettes to remove any trace of bitterness (especially necessary if using older courgettes). Wash and trim the courgettes before slicing lengthways into long strips about 3mm thick. Place in a large bowl of heavily salted water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
- To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour to make a ‘roux’ and cook out for a minute or two, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon before adding the milk little by little, stirring all the time to make a smooth sauce. Add the ricotta using a wire whisk or large fork and mix until smooth. Set to one side.
- Tip the tuna in a bowl, add the chopped anchovies and mix together to form a fine crumbly mixture. Drain and rinse the courgettes, then pat dry.
- Assemble the lasagna in an over-proof dish. Start with a layer of béchamel sauce so the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the dish. Layer with two sheets of lasagna side by side, follow with a layer of tuna mixture, then a pasta sheet, a few spoonfuls of béchamel sauce and a layer of sliced courgettes and so on, building the lasagna layer by layer.
- Pour over all the remaining béchamel sauce and finish with a sprinkling of grated Grana Padano or similar cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a crisp green salad, green beans or peas.