Now, I like to dabble with recipes; I like to turn them around, try and make them better or change up ingredients to suit what I can get my hands on or even based on whats in my cupboard at the time. Sometimes it’s even because a recipe just doesn’t work for me so I change it until it does. With this recipe though I was just lazy, I didn’t have any tinned tomatoes in the cupboard so I swapped in some jarred pasta sauce. It’s based on Jamie Oliver’s gluten free Lasagne, which is an excellent recipe… but well I changed it. That’s where the name comes from.. I bastardized Jamie’s original recipe.
For whatever reason though, it works. So I decided to keep it that way and share it with you. I confess though.This is my no fail, cook for all occasions Lasagne that everyone always raves over…. so maybe I shouldn’t be sharing it at all? But what the hell! I’ve told you all about it already. So let’s get to the good stuff shall we?
As always this recipe doesn’t have to be made for those (as a good friend of mine says) ‘Glutards’ among us. You could quite easily use a standard wheat lasagne sheet or even make your own, either way it still works out great. Now enough nattering, on to the recipe.
Gluten Free Bastard Lasagne
12 Gluten free Lasagne Sheets (fresh or dried either works)
2 Large Carrots, Sliced
2 Brown Onions, Sliced
2 Celery Sticks, Sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, Sliced
1 Medium Zucchini, Sliced
2 Rashers of Bacon, Diced
500g Lean Beef Mince
2 x 500g Jars of Pasta Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Litre Skim Milk
1 heaped Tbsp Gluten free Plain Flour
1 heaped Tbsp Gluten free Cornflour
100g Parmesan, Grated
120g Mozzarella, Grated
1/4 Tsp of Ground Nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 200º Celsius and lightly oil the inside of a 20x30cm lasagne dish and set aside.
Now take the time to thinly slice all the vegetables and garlic, or grab your mandolin and slice away. I seriously love mandolins they make things like slicing veggies en mass so much easier! Add all your sliced veg and garlic to a wide heavy based pan and drizzle with olive oil. (This recipe makes a large amount of bolognese so ensure the pan your use is large and deep.) Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes before adding the diced bacon and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the veggies start to soften slightly.
Go ahead and turn up the heat now and add your beef mince. Break it apart and cook until it is brown. Pour in both jars of pasta sauce, then fill each jar half way up with water and swirl it around to remove any leftover bits stuck in the jar. Tip both lots of water into your pan. Stir to coat everything thoroughly. Bring back to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 25 minutes uncovered.
While that’s simmering, pop a large sauce onto medium heat and throw in the milk, butter and flour. The thing I love about this white sauce is it’s so much easier than cooking the flour down and adding the milk little bit by little bit and stirring continuously. I was a little skeptical at first too but it works. Whack them all together and using a whisk, mix well to remove any lumps. (If you’re using gluten free flour this may take a little longer than standard wheat flour as it has a tendency to clump).
Continue to cook this lovely white sauce mix for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly or until it starts to thicken. Remember you don’t want to reduce it too much here as you’ve still got the cheese to add and this will thicken it further. If you do feel like your sauce isn’t reducing well you can add another 1/2 Tbsp of each flour to the mix and whisk it in. Be sure to tilt your saucepan to the side and scrape around the bottom edge every few minutes or so, this will help stop flour building up and reduce the chance of a lumpy sauce.
Now that your sauce is thickening nicely you can go ahead and stir 3/4 of your Parmesan cheese and the ground nutmeg in. Honestly the addition of nutmeg to the white sauce has revolutionized my cooking… it’s so damn yummy! I add nutmeg to almost all my white sauces now. Once the cheese has melted in fully and you’ve got a beautiful rich cheesy sauce you can pull it off the heat and pop it to the side.
Now it’s time to assemble!
Grab your lasagne dish, pasta sheets, your pasta sauce (which should now be gorgeously thick, tomatoey and aromatic) and your white sauce and have them all within arms reach.
Using a large ladle place half of the pasta sauce into your dish and spread it evenly across the bottom. On top of that you can add 6 of your lasagne sheets (though this will depend on their size. I normally use the San Remo gluten free lasagne sheets). Now spread half of your white sauce on top of the pasta. Repeat with a layer of pasta sauce, lasagne sheets and more white sauce.
Finish off with the last 1/4 of Parmesan cheese and all of the mozzarella, sprinkling thickly across the top. Lastly drizzle a touch of olive oil over the top of the cheese and cover loosely with aluminium foil (be sure it peaks a little in the middle or sits high enough that it doesn’t touch the cheese, otherwise you’ll end up pulling that gorgeous cheesy crust off with it!) Place onto the middle shelf of your oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until the top has turned into a gorgeous cheesy crust.
Serve with a light green salad to cut through all that cheesey-ness!
Serves: 6-9 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Wollah! My slightly bastardized gluten free lasagne, that no one has ever guessed was Gluten Free! Now that is a compliment! Let me know what you think in the comments below.