Gluten free lasagna is a new favourite in our house. We have not eaten this dish for a long time because of my gluten issues. However, I discovered brown rice pasta sheets so decided that we should treat ourselves to a gluten free lasagna.
Lasagna comes from Italy, as most people will know but it dates back as far as the middle ages. It is suggested that this delicious dish was invented in Naples. A traditional lasagna of Naples, Lasagna al Forno, is layered with a thicker Ragu and bechamel sauce which corresponds well with the recipe in this blog.
In other regions, Lasagna can be made with various combinations of ricotta or mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and various meats. The meats can include beef, pork or chicken and it will always include a variety of vegetables too. For example, spinach, zucchini, olives and mushrooms and it can be flavoured with wine, garlic, onion and oregano. Lasagna is always baked in the oven.
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Large saucepan
- Large spoon for stirring
- Large saucepan
- Small saucepan
- Baking dish
Ingredients for the meat sauce
- Mince beef x 500g
- Onions x 1
- Garlic x 2 cloves
- Carrots x 2
- Red pepper x 1
- Yellow pepper x 1
- Tinned tomatoes x 2 400g
- Tommy K or tomato puree x 1 tbsp
- Dried oregano x 1 tsp
- Bay leaves x 2
- Spinach x 200g
- Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for the bechamel sauce
- Milk x 600ml (preferably organic)
- Butter x 50g (preferably organic)
- Brown rice flour x 50g (or wholemeal flour if not gluten intolerant)
- Nutmeg x 1/2tsp
- Mature cheedar x 200g
For the pasta
- Brown rice pasta x 300g
Method for the meat sauce
- Start by slicing the carrots.
- Slice the onions and the garlic.
- Heat the pan on a medium to high heat.
- Add enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan.
- When the pan has heated add the onions and garlic.
- Fry for about 2 minutes then add the mince beef.
- Now fry for a further 5 minutes or until the mince has browned.
- Pour over the tomatoes.
- Then add the grated carrots, courgettes, bay leaves, oregano and tommy k or tomato puree.
- Add the salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir all the ingredients into the sauce and then bring to the boil.
- Turn the heat down and leave to simmer for about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the bechamel sauce. Instructions are below.
- Leave 10 minutes at the end to the boil the pasta.
- After making this sauce preheat the oven to 180° and put the baking dish in.
Method for the bechamel sauce
- Melt the butter in the pan on a low heat.
- Once it has melted add the flour and whisk together.
- It should form a thick paste.
- Remove from the heat and add a little bit of milk whilst whisking.
- Keep adding the milk and whisking until all the milk has gone.
- Return the pan to the hob on a medium heat.
- Whisk continuously until the mixture starts to thicken.
- When it starts to thicken, remove from the heat and add about two thirds of the grated cheese leaving a good amount for the topping.
- Stir this until the cheese disappears and sprinkle in the nutmeg.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Method for pasta sheets
- Cook as per the packet instructions in the large saucepan with boiling water.
- Once cooked, drain and leave to cool.
Method for putting lasagna together
- Remove the preheated baking dish from the oven.
- Next remove the sauce from the heat and add about half to the base of the dish.
- Then add about half of the lasagna sheets on top of the meat.
- Try to cover as much of the meat area as possible.
- Then add about half of the bechamel sauce.
- Then repeat the process.
- Once all the ingredients are finished add the cheese saved from the bechamel sauce for the top.
- Return the dish to the oven and baked for about 25 – 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Lagasna is a great meal that the whole family can enjoy. It’s a great dish to eat in summer or in winter. We ate this dish for dinner but we also had it cold with a salad for lunch the next day. It was yummy and there was not a dirty plate on our table that day. My son really enjoyed it and he actually was at the table the next day for more. It’s quite rare that he liked and ate leftovers the way he did on this occasion. So this dish is definitely worth a try. As always, however you decide to eat it, please enjoy.