(Serves 8 to 10 as a first course, 6 to 8 as a main dish)
Preparation Time: 15 minutes to assemble and 40 minutes cooking time
10 quarts (9 litres) salted water
1 recipe Spinach Pasta cut for lasagna (recipe in files)#1
1 recipe Gluten-Free Dairy Bechamel Sauce (recipe in files)#2
1 recipe Vegetarian Red Lentil Bolognese (recipe in files)#3
1 cup (4 ounces/125g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Extra cheese (I used sharp cheddar for topping)
The dough does not need to be precooked before being assembled into the lasagne *but in my opinion it might be nice if it is boiled for a few minutes before baking*.
The red lentil bolognese and the béchamel sauce can be made up to three days ahead. The red lentil bolognese can also be frozen for up to one month. The pasta can be rolled out, cut and dried up to 24 hours before cooking. The assembled lasagne can wait at room temperature (20 degrees Celsius/68 degrees Fahrenheit) about 1 hour before baking. Do not refrigerate it before baking, as the topping of béchamel and cheese will overcook by the time the center is hot.
Assembling the Ingredients:
Have all the sauces, rewarmed gently over a medium heat, and the pasta at hand. Have a large perforated skimmer and a large bowl of cold water next to the stove. Spread a double thickness of paper towels over a large counter space. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Oil or butter a 3 quart (approx 3 litre) shallow baking dish.
Cooking the Pasta:
Bring the salted water to a boil. Drop about four pieces of pasta in the water at a time. Cook about 2 minutes. If you are using dried pasta, cook about 4 minutes, taste, and cook longer if necessary. The pasta will continue cooking during baking, so make sure it is only barely tender. Lift the lasagne from the water with a skimmer, drain, and then slip into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking. When cool, lift out and dry on the paper towels. Repeat until all the pasta is cooked.
Assembling the Lasagne:
*GF NOTE: Before assembly, pour plain water into the pan, enough to form a thin film of water over the bottom. A 9 x 13 inch or 25 x 33 cm pan required almost 1/2 cup (125 mL) of water.*
Spread a thin layer of béchamel over the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange a layer of about four overlapping sheets of pasta over the béchamel. Spread a thin layer of béchamel (about 3 or 4 spoonfuls) over the pasta, and then an equally thin layer of the bolognese. Sprinkle with about 1&1/2 tablespoons of the béchamel and about 1/3 cup of the cheese. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with béchamel sauce and topping with a generous dusting of cheese and, if you like, extra cheese.
Baking and Serving the Lasagne:
*GF NOTE: Once the lasagne is assembled, pour a tablespoon or 15 mL of water into each corner of the dish. (I didn’t do this part-Sea)*
Cover the baking dish lightly with foil, taking care not to let it touch the top of the lasagne. Bake 40 minutes, or until almost heated through. Raise temperature to 375 and remove the foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and let the lasagne rest for about 10 minutes. Then serve. This is not a solid lasagne, but a moist one that slips a bit when it is cut and served.
I think I might try a different kind of cheese instead of parmesan reggiano next time to make a creamier, milder sauce that complimented the red lentil sauce a bit more.