Iron Chef Shellie

Deconstructed Lasagne

A rich, flavoursome sauce paired with a herby ricotta. It's not quite a lasagne, but it's definitely worth cooking!


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Deconstructed Lasagne
July 18, 2011
Recipes , Shellie Faves

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Deconstructed Lasagne

I bumped into a client on the street a few months ago, and she told me her friend had made her the deconstructed lasagne from Valli Little’s book for dinner, and it was absolutely amazing. We spent about 10 minutes talking about it, right down to the type of pasta and where to buy it. Right then and there I knew I had to make it.

I really liked the sauce, from the tartness of the balsamic vinegar, the refreshing element of the lemon zest, the rich tomatoy-ness, even the pops of olives and I’m not a massive olive fan. The flavours remind me of a rich osso bucco dish my mother used to make. 

Whilst frilly pasta isn’t essential, it is fun! This is the curly fettuccini by San Remo, found at the supermarket. 


Ingredients for Deconstructed Lasagne
Deconstructed Lasagne
Deconstructed Lasagne

Deconstructed Lasagne

Print Recipe
Servings 6


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbs chopped rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbs tomato paste
  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaved, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons extra for the ricotta
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 500g lasagnette pasta, or papperdelle
  • 200g fresh ricotta
  • grated parmesan to serve


  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minute until the onion is softened.
  • Add the chilli and lemon zest and cook for a further minute, then add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
  • Add the beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  • Add the balsamic, parsley and chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes until thick and rich.
  • Cook the pasta according to packet instructions when sauce is nearly ready. Drain, then stir through the sauce.
  • Stir the extra parsley through the ricotta. Season, then place a dollop of ricotta in base of 4-5 bowls. Top with pasta, sprinkle with parmesan, then add another dollop of ricotta and serve.


Adapted from Valli Little
Deconstructed Lasagne

Post updated 8 August 2020.


22 comments on “Deconstructed Lasagne
  1. Erin@theFoodMentalist

    Looks delicious x

    July 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm
  2. Simon @ the heart of food

    Looks like a nice pasta dish. I presume the ricotta is in place of the bechamel?

    July 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Yeah, much lighter for the palette and the belly 😉

      July 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm
  3. Julie

    Awesome! I had this bookmarked in the book and wasn’t sure about cooking it, think I changed my mind!

    July 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm
  4. leaf (the indolent cook)

    I think I might actually prefer the deconstructed version! It looks wonderful.

    July 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  5. Michelle

    This is so much healthier!!!

    July 19, 2011 at 7:13 am
  6. ray

    I think I like the Lasagne in this form. It looks delicious. Thank you for sharing this post.

    – Have a wonderful day –


    July 19, 2011 at 8:17 am
  7. betty

    this looks so good- luv the idea of deconstructing it!

    July 19, 2011 at 9:44 am
  8. Cherrie

    looks great. love the dollop of the ricotta on top. I need to get a move on with my cookbook challenge posts :/

    July 19, 2011 at 11:07 am
  9. Roxanne

    Ooohhh yum!! Have to get that book!!

    July 19, 2011 at 11:27 am
  10. Nic@diningwithastud

    This looks delicious! I love the ricotta – you can either have it dabbed on each mouthfull or stir it all up. YUM!

    July 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm
  11. Apex@blueapocalypse

    This looks great, haven’t thought of making lasagne like this before.

    I’m not a fan of capers and olives either.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm
  12. Hannah

    You had me at balsamic! And don’t tell, but I’d prefer your deconstructed lasagne to my dad’s standard spag bol anyday 😉

    July 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm
  13. Mez

    OH YES!!!!

    I will put lemon into ANYTHING what a great idea!!!

    Seriously considering whipping this up this week not to have with pasta maybe on grilled eggplant…. hmmmmmmmmm using heart smart meat hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    July 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm
  14. Adrian (Food Rehab)

    This would be PUUURFECT for lunch. Can you pack me a box? I’ll bring over some tupperware!

    July 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm
  15. fanny

    wow this looks sooo tempting *drool*

    your plating makes it looks even more delicious actually. damn, i am gonna make this tomorrow! :p

    July 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm
  16. Johanna GGG

    Sounds like this is a recipe full of great flavours – am intrigued by the pasta – would be a good excuse to head down to the Mediterranean supermarket on sydney rd to check out all the fascinating pastas

    July 20, 2011 at 11:14 pm
  17. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    This is bookmarked in my copy too-isn’t it a great idea? 🙂

    July 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm
  18. GourmetGetaways

    Oh I really need to catch up on these challenges 🙁 I am sure your deconstructed lasagne was just the thing for this cold weather. I will be in the next challenge!

    July 22, 2011 at 7:28 am
  19. msihua

    Lols.. I’m not sure about the deconstructed part of this… I was expecting a bowl of tomato, a bowl of mince and deep fried lasagna sheets (since you guys love deep frying/air frying so much now!)

    July 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm
  20. penny aka jeroxie

    nom nom… deconstructed seems like a pasta dish

    July 26, 2011 at 12:03 am
  21. leigh

    Yay, I’ve got this book and am planning to make it very soon – I love lasagne!

    July 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Deconstructed Lasagne

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Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site is by Shellie Froidevaux - aka Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include recipe development, food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients and photography workshops for people who really want to change their game :)

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