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Layered Vegetable Baked Pasta (gluten-free Vegetarian Lasagna)

Posted Aug 26 2008 12:02pm
Now that it's officially winter I'm thinking more and more about baked and roasted dishes. And one of my all-time favorite baked dishes is lasagna. I could eat lasagna three times a day and not get tired of it, (and have!). The only trouble is getting a hold of gluten-free lasagna noodles. I've seen and used them before, but most stores only carry gluten-free - penne, spaghetti, and sometimes rotini. Not a big deal, I simply substitute a layer of penne pasta for the lasagna noodles. It still tastes great, the only downside it that you can't officially call it lasagna.




Last night I got home from visiting the in-laws for Christmas. I was tired and was planning to heat up some left overs, but while taking inventory of my fridge I found an eggplant that would soon be on it's way out if I didn't use it soon. That got me thinking. Next I found some ricotta and mozzarella cheese, and that was all the inspiration I needed to cook up a tray of baked goodness!



First I made a simple tomato sauce, here is a link to my recipe. link to my recipe . If you don't have time you can used a good jar of sauce. I recently used Classico sweet basil sauce and it wasn't too bad. I made this dish with eggplant, green peppers and spinach, but you could also use zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, or just about any other vegetable that strikes your fancy. Or you can substitute 1 lb. of ground beef seasoned with garlic and onions for the vegetables to make it a meat lasagna.



Layered Vegetable Baked Pasta (Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagna)

Serves 3-4



8 oz GF Penne pasta

2 cups tomato sauce

olive oil

12 oz ricotta cheese

1 egg

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 small eggplant (or 1/2 large eggplant)

1/2 large green pepper, cut into bite sized strips

1 cup frozen spinach OR 3 cups fresh spinach

1 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tsp dried basil

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp fennel seed

Salt and pepper





5" x 9" x 2.75"(deep) baking pan



____________________



Preparation:

• Wash the eggplant and cut it into @ 1/4 inch round slices. Salt each side of the eggplant and lean each piece against the side of a colander to drain for 40 minutes.

• Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the GF pasta until not quite done, strain and set aside.

• Using paper towels wipe away the moisture and salt from each side of the eggplant, sprinkle the eggplant with pepper, dried basil, and oregano. (about 1 Tsp of each)

• Heat a frying pan with @ 2 Tbsp olive oil to medium, saute the eggplant, cooking for about 5 minutes on each side add more olive oil of the pan gets too dry.

Put the cooked eggplant aside, in the same hot pan heat another Tbsp of olive oil. Add the green pepper strips, and sprinkle with the remaining, dried basil, oregano, parsley and fennel seed as well as salt and pepper to taste. cook for 2 or 3 minutes.

• Stir the frozen spinach in with the pepper and spices, mix all together and cook until the spinach is fully thawed (if using fresh spinach cook until all is wilted). set aside.

• Mix the egg in a bowl, add the ricotta cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, mix all together well.



Assembly:

Preheat oven to 350º

Using a 5" x 9" x 2.75"baking pan assemble the layers in the following order.

1/3 of the tomato sauce

1/2 of the pasta

1/2 of the spinach/pepper mixture

1/ 2 of the cheese mixture

1/2 of the eggplant laid flat

1/3 of the tomato sauce

Remainder of the pasta

Remainder of the spinach/pepper mixture

Remainder of the cheese mixture

Remainder of the eggplant laid flat

Remainder of the Sauce

top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese



• Cook covered at 350º for 30 minutes covered, cook an additional 15 minutes uncovered.

• Let it cool about ten minutes before serving. Mangia!



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