Gluten-Free Lasagne

Gluten-free lasagne, just as tasty as the original version, with the addition of extra vegetables to make it stretch a little further.


When I first went gluten-free I stopped eating all sorts of foods that I had previous really liked. My intake of carbs when down significantly - in fact I lost weight without even trying! Then one day while in a health food store, I spotted some gluten-free lasagne sheets. I was thrilled. Lasagne had always been my standby when guests came for Saturday lunch. I could assemble it the day before or in the morning, leave it in the fridge and then just cook it. So I thought I'd give the lasagne sheets a go. Nobody noticed anything different; in fact everyone said it tasted delicious!

Gluten-Free Lasagne

Gluten-free lasagne with meat, lasagne and spinach layers

Ingredients

Serves 4

For the bolognese mixture:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 400g beef mince
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 courgette, grated (optional)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dried mixed herbs
  • salt, pepper
  • beef stock cube

For the white sauce:

  • 60g butter/margarine
  • 45g gluten-free white flour
  • 450ml/¾ pt milk
  • ½ tsp Swiss vegetable bouillon powder
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • pinch mustard powder
  • seasoning

You will also need:

  • 200g gluten-free lasagne sheets
  • 50g baby spinach leaves (optional)
  • 100g grated cheddar
  • mozzarella ball (optional)
  • 10g parmesan (optional)

Method

  • Sweat the onion and celery in a little olive oil in a covered saucepan over a low/medium heat for around 10 minutes until softened.
  • Add the crushed garlic. Cook for a few minutes and then remove the onion mixture from the pan.
  • Put mince into the pan and cook on a medium heat until browned. Use a spoon to break up the mince as it cooks so that it is lump free.
  • Once it is browned, pour into a metal sieve (over a jug/bowl) and let the fat drain away.
  • Wipe the pan with a piece of kitchen towel.
  • Return onion mixture to the pan.
  • Add all the other ingredients and the drained mince.
  • Stir well and add 1 can of water (use the tomato can).
  • Cover and bring to the boil.
  • Add grated courgette if using.
  • Simmer for 40 minutes on the hob, stirring every 10 minutes or so to stop it burning.
  • While the bolognese sauce is cooking make your white sauce.
  • I like to use the all in the one method for the sauce. Simply put the butter/margarine, flour and milk in a saucepan and heat gently.
  • Stir with a whisk and allow to boil and thicken, stirring all the time once boiling.
  • Take off the heat, add nutmeg, mustard powder and seasoning.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, 350°F, gas mark 4.
  • Pre-cook the pasta if required, according to the packet instructions. I have found most gluten free lasagne needs pre-cooking.
  • Layer your lasagne in an ovenproof dish - meat sauce, lasagne sheet, white sauce, sprinkling of cheddar.
  • If you would like to, add a layer of washed spinach leaves with the white sauce or instead of a layer of lasagne sheets.
  • Repeat 1-2 times depending on the size of your dish.
  • Finish with white sauce and cheese. If you are using mozzarella add a layer of this first, then cover with cheddar and parmesan (if using).
  • Cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the pasta is soft and the top is golden brown.
  • Chopped mushrooms and peppers also work really well as a tasty addition to your sauce. Add at the same time as the courgette.
  • Try exchanging the beef for pork or turkey mince for a lighter dish.
  • What about making a spaghetti timbale? As a child I used to love this dish. Simply cook gluten-free spaghetti and layer meat sauce and spaghetti, with cheese sauce. Finish with a layer of meat and top with pieces of bacon and grated cheese. You may find this a cheaper option, as gluten-free lasagne sheets tend to be quite pricey.
  • If you prefer you can make cheese sauce, instead of white sauce. Simply add most of the 75g grated cheddar to the sauce once it has reached sauce stage.  Use the reserved grated cheddar on top of the lasagne.
  • If you want to you once all the ingredients are browned and added, you can continue cooking the meat sauce in the oven at a medium heat for 40 minutes. I find that this works just as well and alleviates the need for stirring the sauce!