We received a beautiful manual pasta maker as a wedding gift. Never used it. After Gus was diagnosed with Celiac Disease I purchased a fancy automated pasta maker, dedicating it exclusively to GF pasta dough. Used it once. Neither made the move when we downsized. In fact both were given away before downsizing was a glimmer in our eyes.
Nods again to Bette Hagman and Rebecca Reilly. Emerging from the stupor of my reaction to Gus’s diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease, I signed up for one of Rebecca’s cooking classes: Gluten Free Pasta. It promised instruction, demonstration, dinner, and wine! What Rebecca didn’t promote, but delivered in spades was inspiration and the confidence that came from seeing her step by step execution of Bette’s basic pasta recipe. I’ve tweaked it a bit, but the results are the same: fast, delicious and rewarding. You can do this!
This recipe is broken down into (lasagne) layers: you’ll have to read through the whole recipe for the list of ingredients. By the end, you should have a clear picture of how it’s assembled. Good luck – have fun!
Spring Vegetable Lasagne
Click Here For Printable Recipe
Preheat the oven to 425 F. You’ll need a 9 x 12 x 2 inch baking pan
BASIC PASTA DOUGH INGREDIENTS (one portion – can be doubled)
1/3 (1.25 oz.) cup tapioca flour
1/3 (2 oz.) cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) potato starch flour
1 tablespoon xantham gum (essential, don’t be nervous)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
healthy grind of black pepper (optional)
2 large eggs (splurge on nice organic ones!)
1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
Optional: 1 teaspoon loosely packed grated lemon zest
1. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low to blend.
2. Add the eggs and olive oil (and lemon zest if using) and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until the dough begins to form a ball that pulls away from the edges of the bowl.
3. Turn the dough onto a clean dry surface that has been lightly dusted with tapioca flour and roll it out as THIN as possible. The dough is cooperative and resilient; it will still handle well when you get it almost translucent. Slice into 1.5 x 5 inch rectangles. The pasta is ready to cook or freeze to cook later. Wrap between sheets of waxed paper if freezing. Oh, and SAVE the bits and pieces in a baggie for later!
4. Cook the lasagne noodles in salted boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes. It’s OK to slightly undercook them since they’ll be baked later. Strain and set aside.
BECHAMEL SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup GF flour mix
1 cup milk (almond or soy milk will work)
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan. Add the flour and cook for 2 – 3 minutes over a medium heat, whisking to prevent burning.
2. Reduce the heat and slowly add the milk and 1 cup of the broth, whisking constantly to prevent clumping. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes, whisking as needed, until the sauce thickens. You may need to thin it with some or all the reserved broth. Season it with salt and pepper just before layering the lasagne.
SAUTEED VEGETABLES INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 leeks, thinly sliced (discard the dark green ends or use for soup stock)
2 teaspoons good quality Herbs de Provence (you’ll want nice pieces of lavender buds in the mix)
2 cloves garlic
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet. Add the onions and leaks, and Herbs de Provence Saute over a medium heat until soft, then add the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
STEAMED VEGETABLES INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups fresh peas (or frozen)
1 1/2 cups asparagus, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal into 1/2″ pieces
1. Steam the peas and asparagus over boiling water for three minutes. Run under cold water to halt the cooking process, strain and set aside.
RICOTTA CHEESE LAYER INGREDIENTS:
1 pint ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped carrots greens (the fine fronds at the very top of the stem)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Blend all together in a small mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
1 pound mozzarella, sliced thinly
1/3 cup grated fontina (fontina melts nicely; you’ll want this quality – could substitute monterey jack or cheddar, but fontina is best.)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup grated Robusto
ASSEMBLING THE LASAGNE: TA DA!
1. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the Bechamel Sauce on the bottom of the pan.
2. Top with 1/3 of the noodles
3. Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta mixture onto the noodles, followed by 1/3 of the sauteed onions and 1/3 of the steamed vegetables.
4. Repeat twice. Cover the last asparagus/pea layer with the mozzarella and evenly distributed grated cheeses.
5. Drizzle the remaining bechamel sauce over the top. You may need to thin it with the reserved broth.
6. BAke at 425 F for 45 minutes. Let it rest for 20 – 30 minutes before serving.
This is a “White” pasta dish – supreme comfort food. It’s delicious with a side salad, but also nice served over a bed of fresh baby arugula or spinach tossed with a “bright” vinaigrette, or a tangy tomato sauce. The best part will be harvesting early chives from your garden. Actually, the best part will be having made the pasta!