Layered Vegetable Baked Pasta (gluten-free Vegetarian Lasagna)

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


• 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.

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!



glutenfreeforgood said...

I ran across your site from the GF Feed listing. First off, what cute little girls with great names! I love unusual names, my kids have unique names as well. And second, I like the idea of pasta casserole/lasagna as a launching pad for using whatever you have in the fridge. Nice recipe idea of which I'll definitely use. Happy holidays!

Lucy said...

Ooh, good idea for tonight's meal - I know I've got a rather tired aubergine in the bottom of the fridge!

My resolution is less food waste, so I'd better get cracking on using up these veg before they fade completely. Now to dig the gluten free lasagne sheets from the back of the cupboard (wonder what else I'll find in there)

Anonymous said...

Great recipies, but, I have been using Classico pesto sauce and have had sneezing then mild effects of being glutenized. Their web site lists the red and white sauces as GF but not the pesto. I emailed them and am waiting for a reply. i will try your recipie for the homeade pesto, and probably won't want it from a jar again! LOL