Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend

Lasagna Two Ways: Vegetarian And Gluten Free

Wayne shares special dietary variations of an Italian classic.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Wayne's Weekend: Vegetarian Lasagna with eggplant and mushrooms

    There are probably more recipes for lasagna than there are cities in Italy.  Plus, many folks have a preference for vegetarian versions or have dietary restrictions and want gluten free options as well.  So, today I’ve created a vegetarian lasagna with mushrooms and eggplant and a gluten free version with a beef Ragu.  My friend Giovanni always uses a béchamel sauce as opposed to ricotta cheese, so that’s the approach I also took with these two recipes.

    I researched all the ingredients I used for the gluten free version either online or by the information provided on the product packaging.  I also found the staff at my local grocery store very knowledgeable.  If you ever have questions about an ingredient, be sure to check it out on the manufacturer’s website or with the specialists at your local market.  I’ve also included a link to some helpful information about gluten free products at the bottom of this page.

    Lasagna recipes

    [CHI] Lasagna recipes
    Wayne shows two options to make vegetarian and gluten-free lasagna. (Published Thursday, Feb 24, 2011)

    Vegetarian Lasagna

    Ingredients

    Vegetable Filling

    1 tbl Olive Oil
    1 med Onion, chopped
    1 lg Carrot, diced
    3 cloves Garlic, minced
    1 Celery Stalk, chopped
    1 lg Red Pepper, seeded and diced
    2 lg Portobello Mushroom Caps (about 1/2 lb total weight), black fins scraped out then chopped
    2 baby Eggplant (about 3/4 lb total weight – can use 1 med Eggplant), chopped
    2 tsp Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
    2 tsp Fresh Oregano, finely chopped
    1/2 tsp Salt
    1/2 tsp Pepper
    1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
    1/4 cu Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
    1 can Crushed Tomatoes (28 oz size)

    Béchamel Sauce

    4 tbl Butter
    4 tbl All Purpose Flour
    4 cu Whole Milk
    1/2 tsp Salt
    1/4 tsp Pepper
    1/2 cu Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

    Additional

    4 cu Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
    16oz box Lasagna Noodles, cooked according to package directions
    9x13 baking dish

    Method

    Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots, garlic, celery and red pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and eggplant and continue to sauté for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Add rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Add crushed tomatoes simmer for an additional 10 minutes and stir often.  Remove from heat and set aside.
      
    In a separate pan, heat butter over medium heat.  Slowly whisk in flour to avoid any lumps.  Once combined, whisk for an additional minute.  Slowly whisk in milkn to avoid lumps.  Heat mixture, stirring often until it thickens, about 12-15 minutes.  Don’t let it boil.  Add cheese and season with salt and pepper.   Remove the béchamel sauce from the heat and set aside for assembly.

    Once pasta is cooked, rinse it in water and place it on a clean towel to remove the moisture.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    To assemble the lasagna, spread a small amount of béchamel sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.  Place 1/4 of the pasta noodles over the béchamel sauce, overlapping the noodles and cutting pieces to fill all the corners.  Spread 1/4 of the cheese over the pasta.  Spread 1/3 of the vegetable mixture over the cheese.   Divide the remaining béchamel into four equal portions and cover the vegetables with one portion.  Repeat the pasta, cheese, vegetables and béchamel layers two more times.  Cover everything with the last layer of pasta, spread the remaining béchamel over the noodles and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

    Loosely cover the casserole with aluminum, tenting it so that the aluminum doesn’t come in contact with the cheese and sauce.  Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the aluminum and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until to top is golden brown.  Let lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

    Gluten Free Lasagna

    Filling

    2 tbl Olive Oil
    1 stalk Celery, chopped
    3 cloves Garlic, minced
    1 lg Onion, chopped
    1 lg Carrot, chopped
    1 lg Green Pepper, chopped
    2 lb Ground Chuck (you can also use half chuck and half ground pork)
    2 tsp Fresh Oregano, minced
    2 tsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
    1 tsp Salt
    1 tsp Pepper
    1 can Crushed Tomatoes (28 oz size)
    1/4 cu Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

    Béchamel Sauce

    4 tbl Butter
    4 tbl Gluten Free Flour
    4 cu Milk
    1/2 tsp Salt
    1/2 tsp Pepper
    1/2 cu Grated Parmesan Cheese

    Additional

    2 cu Shredded Parmesan Cheese
    2 cu Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
    2 Boxes Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles (10 oz size…I used De Boles Rice Lasagna)
    9x13 Baking Dish

    Method

    Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add celery, garlic, onion, carrot and green pepper.  Sauté until onions are translucent and vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.  Add beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon.  Sauté for additional 5-7 minutes until beef is brown on all sides.   Add oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.  Add crushed tomatoes and parsley.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes stirring often. 

    In a separate pan, heat butter over medium heat.  Slowly whisk in gluten free flour to avoid any lumps.  Once combined, whisk for an additional minute.  Slowly whisk in milk to avoid lumps.  Heat mixture stirring often until it thickens for about 10-12 minutes.  Add cheese and season with salt and pepper.   Remove the béchamel sauce from the heat and set aside for assembly.

    To assemble the lasagna, spread a small amount of béchamel sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.  Place 1/4 of the pasta noodles over the béchamel sauce, overlapping the noodles and breaking pieces to fill all the corners.  Spread 1/4 of the cheese over the pasta.  Spread 1/4 of the meat mixture over the cheese.   Divide the remaining béchamel into four equal portions and cover the meat with one portion.  Repeat the pasta, cheese, meat and béchamel layers two more times.  Cover everything with the last layer of pasta, then the remaining meat mixture.  Spread the remaining béchamel over the meat and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.  Be sure all of the pasta is covered with meat, sauce, and cheese or it will end up crunchy.

    Loosely cover the casserole with aluminum, tenting it so that the aluminum doesn’t come in contact with the cheese and sauce.  Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Let lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

    Additional Gluten Free Resources

    I found this site useful because of the listing of gluten free items near the bottom of the page: http://www.gicare.com/diets/gluten-free.aspx

    If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook.