Monday, 9 May 2016

Lasagna with Gluten Free pasta sheets

LASAGNA is loved in our house!
My sister has told me, this is definitely my signature dish.
And there's nothing more yummy than home made!
There are a few steps to this. The prep cooking takes most of the time.  But it is so worth it with the end result.
I have tried and tasted and amended and added and substituted and omitted to this dish.........
continuing to perfect it.  But that's the best thing about it!
Far from dry, this recipe will help you achieve a mouth watering tasty, moist, lasagna dish.

TOP TIP HERE? Don't rush !

I'm using Gluten Free lasagna sheets today.  For me personally, it just means i get to enjoy my favourite foods without all that sluggishness.  Italian being one - pasta.
I also add cornflour to my bechamel sauce instead of flour, therefore this dish can be made as a gluten free dish.

Ensure you read the pasta sheet packet before cooking.  Some require pre soaking.  I find these better, as they soften before adding them to the cooking process.

I am using coconut oil today. It's healthier than other oils, especially olive oil.
Everyone is gone made on this lately!  And in all fairness, i can understand why.
Now, don't get me wrong, i will not live without my olive oil.  But i am always trying new things.  Olive oil i will still use and i love especially in salad dressings, Italian/Spanish cuisine and things like drizzling over fresh juicy tomatoes.
But i have to admit, Coconut oil is an amazing buy..... a great all round product, not just for cooking, but for health and beauty too!
A very small amount only is needed, no need to add more during cooking.& here's how i add it in:

  1. Add 1 tsp Coconut oil to a skillet on high heat. When melted, add 620g minced beef meat, season with sea salt and black pepper and brown off. With a slotted, remove browned mince and set aside.
  2. Keeping the juices and fats in the skillet, add chopped veg - carrot; pepper; onion and garlic. Cook until juices have been absorbed, stirring making sure veg doesn't stick.  Then, add seasonings of sea salt; black pepper; cayenne pepper; all spice meat seasoning; dried oregano handful of fresh basil & parsley, stirring all to combine. Return meat to pot. 
  3. Add 3tbsp tomato puree, stirring to combine and cook for about a minute.  To this, add 1tbsp vegetable bouillon powder and combine.  
  4. Next, a tin of chopped tomatoes.  Then fill that tin with boiling water and add to the pot.  Leave to simmer for 30 minutes on low - medium heat.  Stir occasionally.  
  5. Finally add fresh basil and parsley before assembling.  And of course taste test for seasoning.  
  1. Add 1tbsp butter to small saucepan over medium heat.  
  2. Once melted, add 2tbsp cornflour, whisking well to combine until smooth. Continue to cook for about 5 mins - until it becomes light in colour.
  3. Bit by bit, add in milk, whisking constantly.  Let sauce thicken, adding more milk if neccessary.  This is now your roux.

    This is a great sauce to know as you can use it for:
    - Parsley sauce: simply add fresh parsley and add to Bacon
    - Cheese sauce: simply add grated cheese and add to pasta
    - Fish pie: simply add some type of fortified wine like vermouth, pour over fish for baking and top with mash potato

(Get all your pots ready for assembling to make life easier for you and assembling easy.)

NOTE: don't feel you need to pile the bolognese mix in between the layers.  Lasagna is nicer with many layers of pasta sheets.  So, use the bolognese mix sparingly.  It will turn out juicy and yummy, don't fret.
  1. Start with a spoon of bolognese mix and spread it around the base of your lasagna dish.  
  2. Grate cheese (optional) over.
  3. Add pasta sheets - don't worry if you've gaps - change around your layer position on each layer.
  4. Spoon some bechamel sauce over the pasta sheets making sure to cover all inches of sheet. 
  5. And repeat, finishing with Bolognese mix on top and an optional grating of cheese.

    It doesn't have to look neat and perfect! That's the great thing about it! 
  1. Bake in pre-heated 200 degree oven until lasagna sheets and easily sliced through - cook for about 25 minutes.  If you find your dish will overflow, place on top of a baking tray.  
  2. Serve with your favourite sides - garlic bread; potato chips or wedges; large side salad.


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