Thursday, February 24, 2011

Layers of love

I've been wanting some warm, layered, melty, delicious lasagna. On a recent trip to Sunrise Health Food Store, I picked up some DeBole's gluten free lasagna noodles, and collected my other ingredients on various grocery trips around town. When I make gluten free lasagna, I prefer to make miniature ones, individually sized just for me. If I make a full pan, then I have to cut and package it for the freezer in an extra step.

In the past I've used mini loaf pans for this job, but since I was stopping at GFS, I meandered through their foil pan section and found some really cute little ones which work out better. They have the fold down edge so you can add a cardboard lid, which makes for easier storage. Unfortunately, they didn't have an lids in the right size, but I bought the next size up then used the pans as a template to cut them down. The pans and the lids were 19¢ each, so I was inclined to make it work. The recipe I've shared below is merely a template, change and adapt it to meet your own tastes. Don't like eggplant and mushrooms? Use the ground meat of your choice. Prefer spinach to broccoli? Go for it. The best part of making any meal is making it your own.

  • a few teaspoons of olive oil
  • ½ of a large eggplant, chopped into small pieces (¼ inch or so)
  • 2 c broccoli florets, chopped
  • 10 or so average to large mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cans (28 o.z.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 c shredded mozzarella + 1c to sprinkle on top
  • 2 c ricotta cheese
  • ¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 boxes DeBole's gluten free lasagna noodles (or equal amount)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a large pan, sauté the vegetables in olive oil until soft
  3. Add tomatoes and simmer about 10 minutes to reduce some of the liquid
  4. In the mean time, combine the cheeses and eggs in a bowl until well mixed
  5. Spoon some of the liquid portion of the tomato/vegetable mixture into the bottoms of your pans (or one large pan) so the noodles with not be in direct contact with the bottom
  6. Line the pan(s) with UNCOOKED noodles, breaking and fitting them in as needed
  7. On the noodles, spread a layer of the cheese mixture, then some tomato mixture
  8. Add a second layer of noodles and repeat, topping with a final layer of noodles
  9. Cover the noodles with some tomato mixture, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella
  10. Cover the pan(s) with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes (1 hour for a full pan).
My yield was 10 mini pans, yours will depend on the pan you use and how thick you make your layers. If you make a full pan, make sure you leave enough cheese for the second layer and enough tomato mixture to cover the top. If you do not put some of the tomato mixture (or other sauce if you choose) on the bottom of the pan and covering the top, the noodles will not cook properly. The bottom ones will burn a bit to the pan and the top ones will not soften where they are not covered. If you don't want to use the canned tomatoes, you can substitute a couple jars of pasta sauce and cut the simmering to five minutes.

Happy eating, Friends!

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