GLUTEN FREE LASAGNA – TWO WAYS!!!
I was making Lasagna for dinner, but I needed to please a carnivore and a pescatarian, so I made up a Beef Ragu and a Vegetable Saute and made two types of Lasagna using the same ingredients, but substituting the Vegetables for the Beef to make a Vegetarian one. I also used sliced Butternut Squash instead of the pasta, increasing the vegetable content and making it suitable for those with wheat or gluten issues.
I love listening to music whilst I cook so I got out a favourite CD which I had not listened to for ages and sang along as I cooked !!!
Firstly I made my Beef Ragu and had that ready to go. (Will post recipe for that another time, but just use your favourite Bolognaise sauce recipe). You need the Ragu to have a good amount of liquid, as the Butternut Squash Sheets need the liquid to cook properly all the way through. Otherwise you have hard bits in the middle which are not very nice.
The quantities listed here are for one larger Beef Lasagna and two smaller Vegetarian Lasagnas’, plus there was Beef Ragu and Sauted Vegetables left over for other meals.
Other ingredients are as follows:
- 3 packets Buffalo Mozzarella – drained in a colander to get rid of the excess moisture then sliced
- 1 chunk Cheddar Cheese – grated
- 1 chunk of Parmesan Cheese – grated (use Goats Gouda if making a vegetarian version)
- 1 very large or two small Butternut Squash – peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin (or you can buy them already prepared in the supermarket)
- 1 large red onion – diced finely
- 3 large Courgettes – chopped into quarters lengthways and then sliced into chunks
- 1 large Carrot – grated
- 2 cloves of Garlic – crushed
- Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste
- large pinch of dried Oregano
- pinch of dried Chilli Flakes
- drop of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Tomato sauce – I used the tomato sauce I had in the freezer from the Summer.
Firstly, make your vegetable saute. Add the EVOO to the frypan and add the diced Red Onion. Saute until it is transparent. Add the chopped Courgette and fry until it is softened and slightly browned. Add the grated Carrot, Garlic, Oregano, Chilli Flakes and Salt and Pepper and cook until the vegetables are wilted but not soggy.
Now everything is prepared we are ready to assemble. First, the Vegetarian One!
Add some of the tomato sauce to the bottom of the baking dish for lubrication. Add a layer Butternut Squash slices, then add a layer of the cooked Vegetables. Now sprinkle the two grated cheeses on top and add some slices of Mozzarella. Add another layer of Butternut Squash, Tomato Sauce, Vegetables and Cheeses, continue with these layers ending with the Cheese layer on top.
For the Meat variation, do the same layers just using the Beef Ragu instead of the Sauted Vegetables and Tomato Sauce.
Cover the tops of the Lasagna with parchment paper to stop the top cooking and browning too quickly, and cook in the oven at 170 degrees for approximately 85 minutes or until the Butternut Squash is totally cooked through. Check it after an hour, and if almost done, remove the parchment paper to let it brown nicely on top.
I like to serve it with a Rocket Salad dressed with a simple Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil dressing.
With regard to dishes using Cheese being Vegetarian, you need to check the packet and it will usually say suitable for Vegetarians if it is. So if making this for a Vegetarian, substitute the cheese for the vegetarian version. For example, if making this for a Vegetarian, I use a Goats Gouda instead of Parmesan, as it has a strong flavour and makes a good substitution. Some Buffalo Mozzarella are suitable for a Vegetarian and others are not, so you do need to check!!