My big guys are gone and they thoroughly enjoyed their last decent meal for a week. They tell me that the week ahead at their father’s will be full of boring food and not enough of it. The last Thursday of every term, I try to cook something a little special. Once upon a time, we’d go out for dinner but with such limited options these days, my middle guy prefers to eat at home. So gluten and tomato free lasagne it was.
I’ll tell you, it was a bit of a challenge for my brain. My lasagne normally consists of lots of sliced, roasted veggies, tomato passata and cheese. Well not this time. With so few veggies to work with, I had to add meat and with no tomato passata to work with, I had to find an alternative. This is where my rhubarb ketchup/rhubarto sauce came into play but you could use any tomato sauce replacement you have or like. I found this one to be particularly good as it isn’t sweet and has a similar tang to tomato.
I “slaved” all afternoon in the kitchen but you could certainly use left over veggies from the day before or roast fresh ones up at an earlier stage and set aside until required. Cooking all afternoon was a great excuse to get out of doing housework!
500g of mince
2 large shallots, diced
1 stalk of celery finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3/4 cup of rhubarb ketchup
1 cup of chicken stock
1/2 tsp of saffron soaked in a tbsp of hot water
salt to taste
Over low-medium heat, sweat the shallots, celery and garlic until just tender. Add the mince and brown lightly. Toss in the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil then simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
3 medium swedes
1 large sweet potato
Slice all veggies to about 1/2 centimetre thick then coat in oil, salt and garlic powder. (I find that tossing them in a bowl with a mix of the oil, salt and garlic works best for me) Lay them onto baking sheets, preferably in a single layer (a bit of overlap is ok) and roast at 200° for 10-15 minutes or until just tender when poked with a knife. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
1 batch of meat sauce
1 batch of roasted veggies
a good wedge of fresh ricotta (optional) or you could make a bechemel sauce
Gluten free lasagne sheets
In a lasagne dish, place a small amount of meat sauce on the bottom then lay lasagne sheets over. Arrange a layer of roasted veggies on top of the lasagne sheets, spoon over a little meat sauce then top with some crumbled ricotta or bechemel sauce and another layer of lasagne sheets. Continue this process until the dish is full or you run out of ingredients. I like to put only one variety of roasted veggie in each layer but you could mix it up if you like. Now normally I would top my lasagne off with a layer of pasta sheets then a very generous covering of mixed grated cheeses but since my middle son can’t eat matured cheese, I finished it off with a layer of mixed veggies to stop the lasagne sheets from drying out and going crispy. Cover with foil and bake at 180° for about 1 hour or until pasta is tender. Some ovens may take just 45 minutes.