Happy National Gluten Free Day! In honour of the day, I decided it makes perfect sense to post the first recipe of the blog – lasagna!
Now every time I go to read a recipe online, the food blogger has paragraph after paragraph of the meaning behind the meal, how they connect with it, etc. Usually there’s a jump to the recipe button which I more often than not use. I do not have that button so I’ll keep my story short.
Lasagna is a delicious combination of carbs and cheese. It is loved by many and is a great meal to serve to family and friends. Plus it also provides tasty leftovers. There are so many ways to adapt it based on diet preferences as well. The first time I made lasagna it was for all my siblings when we had dinner together with my eldest brother who was visiting from the East Coast. It was a special family dinner and since then my lasagna has been made for such events. I even made one this past Christmas!
The first time I made a gluten free lasagna it was a bit of a mess. A literal mess. I dropped it while removing it from the oven! I made it in a disposable pan ( as pictured above) but forgot to place a baking sheet under it. The pan warped from the weight of the lasagna and it ended up on the oven door. Tears were shed. Dog cuddles were required. My dad had to clean it up and thankfully most of it was salvageable. It is now a funny story to share! But my tip for those using disposable pans (which I do to save clean up) – remember to place it on top of a pan to support the weight.
This recipe is loosely based off of the World’s Best Lasagna Recipe which is posted on Allrecipes. I have altered the sauce to make it my own and have adapted it to gluten free.
Serves approximately 12.
Prep: 30 -40 minutes
Cooking: 2 – 3 hours (1 hour minimum for the sauce, 1 hour for baking the lasagna)
- 500 grams of mild / sweet Italian sausage
- 500 grams of lean ground beef
- 1 small minced onion
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 chopped zucchini
- 1 chopped bell pepper (I typically use a red)
- 1 can (796 ml) crushed tomatoes
- 2 (156ml) cans tomato paste
- 1 cup (250ml) of water
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar
- 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Approximately 12 gluten free lasagna noodles * ( I prefer the Catelli brand – no boil needed!)
- 475 grams of ricotta
- 1 egg
- 320 grams of shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup of shredded Parmesan
- In a large pot cook sausage, ground beef, onion, garlic, zucchini and bell pepper over medium heat until vegetables are soft and meat is browned. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Season with sugar, Italian seasoning, and half the chopped parsley. Simmer, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Prepare gluten free lasagna noodles according to package if they require boiling*. Drain the the noodles while still al dente. Rinse with cold water. If using the recommended noodles, skip this step.
- In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, remaining parsley and egg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Assemble lasagna in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of sauce on the bottom of the dish. Arrange 4-6 noodles lengthwise over sauce – depending on the pan. Spread half of the ricotta cheese on top. Sprinkle a third of the mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of sauce over mozzarella. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil. Ensure the foil is not touching the cheese (you can spray it with cooking spray to prevent sticking if lasagna is high enough to be touching top of the pan)
- Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and return to the oven to bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until cheese is crisp.
- Cool before serving. Enjoy!