Lasagna is something I have really missed since I now live gluten, dairy, soy, and rice free. Most of the dairy substitutes are either soy or rice, and so far the gluten free lasagna noodles I’ve found are made with rice. So what’s a girl to do! Make it myself with the ingredients that I know I can eat.
I made these one day on the fly, that’s where I just cook and don’t pay any attention to what and how much I cook with, after watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I don’t remember the show or the restaurant that served their regular version, but I knew I wanted to figure out a version I could eat.
They were so amazing that when I asked Scott what he wanted for his Father’s Day dinner, he requested lasagna. This was great. Now I could keep track of what I did and the ingredients I used. Now I just have to read my chicken scratch on this over crowded piece of paper with oil and tomato sauce on it. So if it doesn’t come out perfect, just let me know what you did and I’ll make the adjustments. That’s the fun of cooking.
I will say that this recipe is not for the faint of heart. I did make the meat ragu sauce, fire roasted tomato bechamel sauce, and the pasta that went into the building of this lasagna. The good thing is that you can make some of this ahead of time and freeze it. You can also do what I did which was make lots and freeze the leftovers. Now before you quickly click away from here let me just share a little something. There is nothing that I have found that equals the feeling of making something to eat with your hands from real food and then serving it where everyone is raving and moaning how amazing it is. It does the heart and body good.
So if you are ready I’m going to give you all of the recipes and the steps. I don’t have as many photos as I would like but sometimes I get so caught up in the cooking I forget to take the photos.
I hope you will take the time to make this meal and share with me your results.
Lasagna is a wonderful layered dish that you can make vegetarian very easily. Instead of a meat ragu just use your favorite tomato sauce. Either way I use grilled vegetables as part of the layers. You can choose your favorite vegetables to grill. I grilled vidalia onions, eggplant, zucchini, yellow summer squash, cremini and oyster mushrooms, spinach and garlic. I used a grill pan but you can always grill these outside, well not the spinach. I will say that grilled spinach with garlic tastes wonderful. Just be careful not to use too much oil or it will cook out into the lasagna.
You will also need to gather some Daiya Mozzarella Cheese, gluten free bread crumbs and butter (dairy and soy free- Earth Balance).
You will either want to make your Meat Ragu early in the day and let it simmer, or make it ahead of time. I make a large batch and freeze it for this lasagna, pastas, pizzas, calzones and recipes like that.
Mix up your pasta and roll it out as thin as you can get it between the parchment paper. Take the ramekin that you will use for the lasagna and press it into the pasta. If it does not cut out the shape you may need to use a knife to cut around the outer edges. Place the cut out pasta onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet until you are ready to use it. You could of course freeze these circles now and thaw them out when you are ready to use them.
The bechamel sauce is something you will want to make right before you need it. So with a warm Roasted Tomato Bechamel sauce, warm Meat Ragu, the fresh pasta, bread crumbs, butter and Daiya Cheese, we are now ready to assemble your Individual Lasagnas.
Assembling the lasagna is building layers of amazing flavors until there is no more room in your dish. This method is the same no matter if you’re making an individual lasagna or a large pan.
1. lightly grease the sides and bottom of your dish. I have a wonderful oil mister where I can pump air into the bottle of olive oil and it will lightly spray. If you don’t have one I highly recommend you get one.
2. spoon a little bechamel sauce on the bottom
3. place a circle of fresh pasta and spoon a little more bechamel sauce on top
4. add in grilled vegetables
5. sprinkle some cheese on top
6. add another layer of pasta and bechamel sauce
7. if you are keeping this vegetarian add in more vegetables, plain red sauce
8. spoon in the Meat Ragu
9. spoon a little bechamel sauce
10. add some cheese on top
11. sprinkle some bread crumbs on top and dot with butter
Place your individual lasagnas on a cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8-20 minutes depending on how warm the ingredients were when you assembled them. You will know it’s done when the cheese bubbles.
1-2 pounds of meatloaf mix- ground pork, veal and beef
1/2 red onion diced
1-2 celery stalks diced
2 carrots diced
1 bay leaf
handful of fresh thyme
handful of Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary chopped
8 leaves of fresh basil chopped
chopped tomatoes or 1 large can of crushed or diced tomatoes
Saute your onions, celery and carrots until they start to soften. Next brown the meats. Combine everything else and let the ragu simmer for 1-3 hours. The longer it cooks the more the flavors combine. It can be ready in as fast as 30 minutes.
Pasta– I used double the recipe found in Gluten-Free Italian cookbook written by Jacqueline Mallorca which can also be found on my blog, Great Gluten Free Pasta Challenge. I also use sorghum flour instead of rice flour. I find that if I roll the pasta between two sheets of parchment paper with sorghum flour on both, that I don’t have a problem with the pasta sticking like I did with plastic wrap like Jacqueline uses.
Fire Roasted Tomato Bechamel Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sorghum flour
pinch tapioca flour
3 cups very warm milk (I use almond milk, unsweetened)
1/4 cup fire roasted tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
In a very sturdy sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Make sure the butter is warm before adding in the flours. Add the flour in slowly while whisking. You will want this mixture to cook so you don’t have any raw flour taste. This is your roux. Now add in your warm milk with a whisk and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. This will happens the closer it gets to the boiling point. When it adheres to the sides, add in the tomatoes. You can take it off of the burner to use as you build your lasagna.
This recipe shared on Nourishing Gourmet- Pennywise Platter Thursday. You can make these lasagnas for very little cost because it doesn’t require much of any one ingredient and if you use leftover grilled kabobs, well you’re just getting that for free!
Wow! High-five! You're a legend for making food that good without many of the 'normal' ingredients! Amazing! 🙂
Theresa- Thank you! I love not being normal. Normal to me seems so boring. Look how creative we can be with real food! Let me know if you give these a try.
Wow, this is neat! Very creative 🙂
Aubree- Thank you. I will say it is a rich and filling meal.
Very clever and just in time for me to go dairy free again. I made your slaw yesterday with some spicy fish cakes. That slaw is now on my menu rotation. Love the heat and the crunch and the cilantro.
Wendy- Thank you! Let me know what you add to your lasagna. Dairy free isn't so bad after all.
Wow, fabulous, Diane! I've been eagerly awaiting this post and recipe. But, I shouldn't be reading or looking not having had my lunch yet. 😉 I know exactly what you mean about the feeling of feeding others well. There's nothing quite like it. I took my neighbor a meal last night and it was a small thing, but still felt good and was well received. Like you always say, it doesn't matter what ingredients are lacking either, we can still make these dishes taste wonderful. 🙂 Looks like we have a lot of folks joining in on the dairy-free eating these days … more great recipes from our blogging friends, right? Anyway, amazing little lasagnas!
Shirley- It's amazing what you can still make that would typically include dairy, and have it be dairy free and taste amazing. This was a huge hurdle for me and I'm so excited I figured it out. Shhhh, this weekend I'm making Curry Macaroni and Cheese.
looks amazing! Will definitely plan to make this as a special treat for my family sometime this summer. Yep, we are dairy free here as well (just found the Daiya cheese last week at our Wegman's — did the happy dance!!)… we're also gluten, soy, and corn free too.
Jennifer- Yes I always do the happy dance when I find the Daiya. I also stock up so I hope you get there before me!
Sounds so good! I would love to make lasagna again.