Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gluten Free Lasagna

I love lasagna. Love love LOVE it!! My family is Italian and I grew up eating pasta ALL the time with them. That's really the only thing I remember my grandmother making besides cudighi sandwiches (also fabulous!)...homemade sauce with my choice of angel hair or my brother's choice of mostaccioli with a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes fresh from the garden with oil and vinegar. My mom's homemade sauce is probably one of my favorite things in the world to eat! Lasagna was always a special treat for us :)

I found gluten free brown rice lasagna noodles at Wegman's and some gluten free chicken sausage so I just had to take a stab at lasagna. A perfect gluten free meal to last me throughout the week and also with some to freeze. I tried to pack it with vegetables, go light on the cheese and use part-skim ricotta to lessen the fat and pack a nutrition punch. It turned out fantastic! I could not tell the difference between the rice noodles I used and regular lasagna noodles...so good!

Here's what I used:
  • 28oz can of crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 14oz can of tomato sauce
  • 14oz can of stewed tomatoes with basil
  • 4oz can of tomato paste
  • 1cup dry red wine 
  • 8oz package of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1T Italian seasoning
  • 2tsp garlic powder
  • 1T red pepper flakes
  • 1T brown sugar
  • About 1# of gluten-free Italian sausage of your choice...I used Al Fresco Chicken Sausage in Spicy Jalapeno, cooked and chopped
  • Gluten free lasagna noodles (about 9), cooked according to package directions (I used Tinkyada)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 16oz part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella 
Basically I combined all of the tomato products, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and garlic powder together in a large pot and heated over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, sausage and red wine and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Place a little sauce on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, top with a layer of lasagna noodles (about 3). Spread about 8oz of the ricotta over the noodles, top with half of the spinach then about 1.5 cups of sauce and 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella. Layer with more noodles, ricotta, spinach, sauce and mozzarella. On top of the second layer place one more layer of noodles and cover with remaining sauce. 
Place the 9x13 inch pan on top of a cookie sheet line with foil to avoid any spillage in the oven. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Cover with remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted on top. Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes before cutting into and serving...enjoy!!

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