For a recent dinner party I violated the prime rule – don’t try out recipes on your guests. Four out of five dishes were new tries. Fortunately I’m pretty good at reading recipes and choosing ones that are really good and I’m a pretty good cook, so it’s a rule I violate often and so far I’ve never had a disaster. The main event for this dinner party was a lasagna recipe I’d seen on Tyler’s Ultimate several years ago. Recipes like that for me always mean tweaking to get wheat and dairy out.
The recipe calls for making your own pasta, which I just don’t get into. And I waited a long time because I really don’t like messing with lasagna noodles that have to be boiled and only recently did I find a gluten free version of the no boil sheets. Once I had them I knew the Lasagne all-Emiliana recipe had to be made. You can click on the recipe title back there to use the original, untweaked, recipe.
3 oz. butter*
3 oz. spelt flour
1 quart almond milk (or soy or rice…)
Freshly ground nutmeg
Mineral sea salt
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until the mixture is creamy. Set aside.
Place almond milk in a saucepan, add grated nutmeg and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Whisk the flour mixture into the milk and keep whisking until it begins to boil, then lower heat to a simmer and whisk occasionally until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt. Set in pan of water until you’re ready to use.
3 T EVOO
6 T finely chopped onions (I grate them in food processor)
6 T finely chopped carrots
6 T finely chopped celery
1 lb ground veal
1 cup white wine
1 lb canned or fresh tomatoes, pureed and passed through strainer
Mineral sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the EVOO over medium in large pot (I like dutch oven for this). Add onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the veal and brown, breaking it up. Add the wine, increase the heat and simmer until the pan is dry again, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and enough water to cover. Bring the sauce to a simmer then reduce the heat to low and cook until sauce is no longer watery, about 4 hours. I put the dutch oven in a 325 oven for 3 hours so that I didn’t have to worry about overcooking the bottom or having to stir often.
Make the lasagna:
I really differ from the original here, as the chef made six layers so that each layer of ragu and bechamel was very thin. I don’t have that much patience (nor a pan that deep) so I made three layers and let each one be much thicker than his version. One guest said it was the best lasagna she ever had.
Preheat oven to 300
1 pkg gluten free mini sheets
3 cups pecorino romano (I can have sheep so that works for me; get a no dairy parmesan if you can’t have the pecorino). I actually didn’t measure but spread cheese liberally on each layer.
Make a layer of bechamel on the bottom of the pan. Cover with a layer of ragu and some cheese. Add a layer of mini sheets; I left a little bit of space around each and that way each piece was easily delineated. Repeat two more layers of bechamel, then ragu, then cheese, then noodles, and top with a layer of bechamel, ragu and cheese. Bake 45 minutes.
I really think if you served the lasagna with my tweaks but without mentioning that it was free of dairy and gluten no one would know. LOVED it!
* Biochemist friends of mine tell me butter fat doesn’t contain the aspects of dairy that cause allergies so I quit using the non-dairy stuff since there are other issues with pretty much every variety. Dieticians generally include butter as a dairy product to avoid. Do what seems right for you.