Lamb, Ricotta and Nettle Lasagne

Now we are finally in the throws of Spring, I created a bit of a twist on the usual lasagne for a lighter version, packed with all the flavours of the best in season. 

Paleo pasta has been an absolute hero of mine because you wouldn’t ever recognise a difference in taste or texture, but there just isn’t that post-meal heaviness to it - which essentially means you can eat more! It’s made entirely from eggs and gluten- and grain-free flours and packed with more protein and goodness. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t get better than buying and eating some incredible fresh pasta but sometimes, when you’ve already had a heavy week and still want some comfort, this Paleo Pasta comes in perfectly. 

Ingredients

For the meat:

  • 500g high-quality, lamb mince 
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 400ml stock 
  • 2tbsp tomato puree 
  • A few springs fresh thyme and rosemary 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • Olive oil 

For the pasta:

  • If using fresh lasagne sheets, go get those :) 
  • For those wanting a grain-free, gluten-free alternative, use the below and method in extra section;
    • 1cup almond flour 
    • 1cup tapioca flour 
    • 2/3cup arrowroot flour 
    • 2 large, organic eggs 
    • 4 egg yolks from large, organic eggs 

For the ricotta cheese mix:

  • 500g ricotta cheese 
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • 150g parmesan, finely grated
  • 100g pecorino, finely grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • Nettle tops, washed thoroughly, blanched and drained

 

Method

  • Start with the meat by heating up oil in a heavy-based saucepan and adding onions, sautéing for a good 10mins on low-med heat to soften slowly 
  • Add in the garlic, and stir to release aromas for 5mins 
  • Turn heat to medium and crumble in the lamb mince, not disturbing the meat for a few minutes. Afterwards, start to break up the mince and get a good colour on all of it
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and give it a good mix, bringing it to a gentle simmer with lid on for 15-20mins until forms a gorgeous thick ragu
  • At this point, heat the over to 200C
  • Next up, making the ricotta, simply mix all ingredients together and set aside
  • With the Paleo pasta, I like to cook each slice for 2mins during the layering process but if you’re using regular fresh pasta, this can be skipped 
  • Now time for the layering! In a fairly deep oven dish, I go for meat, pasta, ricotta and repeat but do as you please here 
  • Chuck the whole lot in the oven for 30mins, and make sure to cool slightly before serving up 

 

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For Paleo Pasta:

  • Add all flours into a deep mixing bowl and combine thoroughly 
  • Create a well in the middle and add in all eggs and egg yolks 
  • With a knife (I find this easier), whisk together the eggs and slowly pull in the flour to create a dough 
  • Depending on the size of the eggs and the temperature of your kitchen, this dough can vary each time but you’ll get a feel of it the more you make it. The dough should form like any other regular pasta dough, so if too wet, add in a tablespoon of a flour at a time and play. If too dry, use a smidgen of the remaining egg whites to it and play.
  • Knead the dough in the bowl to make sure all is combined, and then turn out onto a floured surface to knead further to get make a really smooth dough
  • Split into four balls and set aside three
  • Using either a rolling pin or a pasta machine, make sure the dough is well floured all the time and roll out to 0.5cm thickness, and cut into the shapes wanted 
  • In batches, cook the pasta in boiling water for 2 mins 
  • Repeat for the other balls of dough