As you may know, we will be moving to another apartment later this month, and I’ve been going through our stuff sorting and packing like CRAZY. One thing I needed to do something about was our scary, scary freezer. I have a habit of making extras of things and then packing up meals and labeling them to be stored in the freezer. It’s great to be able to pull out a homemade loaf (or even a slice) of gluten-free bread and have it right away, or to have tofu meatballs at the spur of the moment with no prep time at all. One of my most precious goodies in the freezer is the small batches I store of Bette Hagman’s wonderful bean flour pasta, and the last time I went through the freezer I found a precious, precious sealed bag with sheets of homemade GF lasagna. I put it on my menu for early July, and made a lasagna that turned out better than I ever expected. I found halfway through the process that I didn’t have any prepared pasta sauce, so I ended up making a classic pasta sauce from scratch (well, starting with canned tomatoes and tomato paste), and I was surprised at how much I liked it, especially with the fresh herbs I added from my garden. I had made a bunch of grilled pattypan squash for another recipe but had lots left over, so I decided to make it a spinach-grilled pattypan squash lasagna. You know what? Even though DH doesn’t like squash much, and hates spinach, he ate every bite and snuck off to the kitchen for seconds. Apparently the cheese makes all the difference. For those of you who can’t tolerate dairy, I recommend
as excellent substitutes- I think the recipe would be just as good with un-cheese! If you can, do make homemade pasta, because in my opinion, that’s what takes this dish from tasty to sublime. Somehow homemade silky soft, tender gluten-free pasta just sings on the tongue with the other ingredients, and even though it’s a little bit of trouble, it’s well worth it in the end.
Gluten Free Vegetarian Grilled Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
2 14 oz cans chopped, unseasoned tomato
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. GOOD olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
fresh oregano, thyme, and basil
1 tsp sugar or honey
freshly ground pepper
Grilled Pattypan Squash:
Gluten-Free Lasagna noodles (homemade or purchased, Tinkyada or Debolles)
Combine 1 whole can of chopped tomato in a blender, including pieces and juice. Strain tomato pieces from other can and reserve, discarding juice of second can.
Heat olive oil in a cast iron pan or dutch oven. Sautee chopped onion and garlic until transluscent. Add fresh herbs and italian seasonings and combine. Add your blended can of tomato and stir. Throw in your strained tomato pieces from the second can and let simmer. Add sugar or other sweetener to taste. Let simmer while you get the rest of your ingredients ready.
If needed, boil your GF lasagna noodles. (No-bake GF lasagna won’t need to be boiled.)
Clean and slice your pattypan squash horizontally so you have circles of squash. baste with a little sesame oil (or your favorite oil) and season generously with your seasoning blend. Grill on a REAL GRILL if possible until marked on both sides with grill marks. When done you can cut into bite sized quarters or leave as is.
Now, layer your lasagna in a pan with 1/4 of your tomato sauce, pasta, grilled squash, cheese, and fresh, clean spinach leaves. Repeat until all ingredients have been used, ending with pasta, any extra veggies, tomato sauce and ending with cheese.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, covered in aluminum foil. Remove foil after thirty minutes and bake for another 15 minutes or until top is golden brown. (If you use no-boil GF lasagna like debolles, follow directions- usually 1 hr. covered).