Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gluten-free red lentil and vegetable lasagna/lasagne recipe

Sometimes I find a favorite recipe because I'm looking for a way to use up a valued ingredient.  In this case, I had leftover ricotta from the eggplant, ricotta, and walnut pasta that I made last week, and I didn't even consider making anything but lasagna.  Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods, and I love the versatility.  I love meat lasagna, veggie lasagna, bechamel-based lasagna, and every permutation possible.  Every time I make it, I use a different recipe to try something new, and they're almost all amazing in their own way.  The truth is that I tried this recipe out on my family the night before we celebrated Thanksgiving, but I didn't take any pictures and I needed to tweak it a bit.  This time it was perfect.  A thick sauce full of lentils and vegetables, a very creamy ricotta layer, and delicious brown rice pasta is a combination that can't be beat.

Ok, I must now go off on a tangent about the spelling of lasagna.  I've been spelling it incorrectly my entire life, and I'm pretty embarrassed (especially given that I took a year of Italian in college).  Lasagna is singular, and lasagne is plural.  Americans use 'spaghetti' and 'ziti', not 'spaghetto' and 'zito', so why do we say 'lasagna' instead of 'lasagne'?  The problem is that I don't know that I can change because my fingers automatically put that 'a' at the end.  Well, the first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem...

Gluten-free red lentil and vegetable lasagna (adapted from We Heart Food)
(Printable version)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 small carrot, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/3 cup red lentils
1 can (15 oz.) fire-roasted, crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 brown rice lasagna noodles, broken in half
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
handful of basil, sliced
1/4 cup shredded monterey jack

Heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  Add onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are tender.  Then stir in celery, carrot, and zucchini, and cook for a few minutes.  Add lentils, crushed tomatoes, water, tomato paste, sugar, and oregano, and let simmer for 40 min.  Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook noodles for about half the time that the package recommends (I cooked mine for 8 min).  Then drain and rinse the noodles.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, milk, and egg.  Place a thin layer of the lentil and veggie sauce on the bottom of a 8x8" baking pan.  Then layer 1/3 of the pasta, 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the basil, and 1/3 of the remaining sauce.  Repeat these layers.  Layer the remaining pasta, sauce, and basil, and top with the shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 for 40 min.  Serves 4.


Kathy said...

That looks so very tasty. I would
like to try this, thank you for sharing.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Oh. Wow. I think I am in love. You always make such yummy-sounding healthy dishes, but I really, really am digging this one. Lasagna/lasagne is always a treasured meal to me too, and I love the use of red lentils in here.

Anonymous said...

This sounds very VERY delicious. The lentils caught my eye.
Thanks for posting

Katie said...

Kathy and cookbookcooks - Thanks!!

Alta - That's about what I sounded like when I first tasted it :)

Anonymous said...

I made this recipe tonight and really loved the lentils and the fresh basil!!

Katie said...

cookbookcooks - I'm so excited that you enjoyed it!

Tami said...

This too is going on the menu. We're headed out of town for the weekend and I'm trying to talk the person we're staying with to let me try this. Her husband is a big meat guy though so we'll see. If not Saturday, this will be made Monday. I can't wait! Thank you SO much for sharing your cooking genious.

Katie said...

Tami - I hope you can fit it in this weekend! My meat-loving family liked it, so maybe it will work with your friend's husband, too. Let me know what you think.