Vegetarian Lasagna (Gluten Free)

large__6466933063“Once again, my life has been saved by the miracle of lasagne.”  – Garfield

Lasagna, or lasagne? It doesn’t really matter, after all who doesn’t love a good one? There is something so enticing about the beautiful aromas that fill the kitchen coupled with the visual appeal of oozing cheesy white sauce. Yum…

We are big lasgana fans in our household (they are great for using up odds and ends and make delicious leftovers), however we had never before attempted a vegetarian version. As with all my Meat Free Monday recipes – feel free to use whatever vegetables you have, don’t go out of your way to buy something!

Ingredients
800g pumpkin (peeled and sliced into 1cm slices)
Dash of olive oil
1 medium eggplant (sliced)
2 medium zucchini (sliced lengthways)
1 red capsicum
1 onion (finely diced)
2 garlic cloves (finely diced)
100g spinach
200g button mushrooms (thinly sliced)
600g tomato puree
1tsp dried oregano
Handful of torn basil leaves
30g butter
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons plain gluten free flour
1 cup grated mozzarella (or cheddar if you don’t have mozzarella)
Dried GF Lasagna sheets (enough for 3 layers)
Salt and pepper to season

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180degrees (C). Line an oven tray with baking paper and spread out pumpkin. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20min or until tender. Set aside.
2. Slice cheeks off capsicum and place under a grill (skin side up) until skins are black and blistered. Set aside to cool before peeling off skin and slicing into thin strips.
3. Heat remaining olive oil in a heavy based frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sautéing until lightly golden. Add in remaining vegetables and cook, stirring regularly until eggplant is tender. Stir in tomato puree and oregano and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and then simmer for 10-15minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.
4. To make a delicious gluten free white sauce, I’ve found that it is best to mix the flour with a little milk to make a paste BEFORE adding in to the melted butter. Something about gluten free flours means that if you do it the traditional way, lumps are inevitable! So – melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan before adding your milk / flour paste. Gradually add the remainder of the milk, continuously stirring to avoid lumps. Add in ¼ of the grated cheese and a little salt and pepper to taste.
5. Grease a baking dish (this makes washing up easier) before beginning your layers. Start with a small amount of the sauce and build the layers with lasagne sheets, the pumpkin, basil and spinach, remembering to throw in some strips of capsicum every now and again.
6. Once layers are complete, pour the white sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
7. Cover with alfoil and bake for approximately 40-50mins at 180degrees (C).
8. Remove alfoil 15 minutes before the end of cooking time to allow the cheese to become beautifully golden!

Notes
• Some gluten free flours behave differently to others. Adjust quantities for the white sauce accordingly.
• This makes a delicious dinner by itself, or you can easily make a fresh and zesty salad or some homemade rustic potato chips to accompany it.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jabb/6466933063/”>JaBB</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

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