Kids in the Kitchen: Lasagna, Two Ways

Gluten-Free Lasagna
Gluten-Free Lasagna

lasagna bakedWhen Matt decided he wanted to make lasagna for his turn in the kitchen, I happily agreed. I love lasagna. I knew that gluten-free lasagna noodles existed, so I figured this would be a wonderful dish for the family. I started to make a grocery list, and went shopping.

Only to find out that my “regular” grocery stops (SuperTarget and Sprouts) did not carry gluten-free lasagna noodles. Gluten-free shells, spaghetti, linguine? Yes. Lasagna? Nope. So I begrudgingly purchased regular lasagna noodles, and accepted that I wouldn’t be eating lasagna that night.

But as today drew closer, I didn’t accept it. (Why should I be unable to enjoy kids’ creations?) And although I knew another grocery, such as Whole Foods, would possibly carry the pasta, a busy week kept me from making that extra trip. I had to come up with a way to make a “psuedo-lasagna” that would satisfy me, sans gluten-free noodles. Suddenly I remembered that my brother (also gluten-intolerant) insisted that corn tortillas made a great substitute for lasagna noodles. Since corn tortillas are always in our house, I figured, why not?

And so it began. When Matt and I were preparing our mise en place, he was already imagining how wonderful the lasagna would taste. I have to admit, so was I. Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food, with its cheesy layers, and bursts of flavor from the tomato sauce and fillings. I’ll have to admit, as we browned the sausage and simmered the sauce, lots of “taste tests” occurred. (It’s actually amazing that there was anything left to put into the lasagna!) And the 45-minute wait while the lasagna baked seemed like an eternity.

lasagna 007

Once the lasagna emerged from the oven, though, it was well worth the wait. While not photo-friendly (the lasagnas did not cut into nice, neat squares for photographs…), the kids devoured most of the “gluten-y” lasagna (Matt had 3 helpings!), while I happily chowed down on my corn tortilla lasagna. It was nice and light, (I added a thinly sliced zucchini in my layers, just because I happened to have some that needed to be eaten) but plenty flavorful enough. So much, in fact, I felt satisfied. Who says living gluten-free has to mean deprivation? It doesn’t mean that I won’t try to look for gluten-free lasagna noodles in the future (I plan to ask Sprouts to see if they’ll start carrying it), but this version definitely hit the spot.

To make both gluten-free (2 servings) and regular lasagna (6 servings):

1 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage, crumbled

1/2 medium sweet onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

2 t dried oregano

1/2 t crushed red pepper

1/2 t anchovy paste

1 1/2 T fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

8 oz oven-ready lasagna noodles

3 corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch strips

1/2 lb ricotta cheese

4-5 c shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 c Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brown the sausage, crumbling with spatula. Add onions and garlic, and cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, open crushed tomatoes and pour into a medium saucepan. Add oregano, crushed red pepper, and anchovy paste and stir. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add basil and stir, simmer for 2-3 minutes more.

For the regular lasagna, use a 13X9 glass baking dish. For the gluten-free lasagna, I used a 8-inch round baking dish. Pour a bit of sauce in the bottom of each dish and spread around. Add a single layer of noodles to the regular lasagna, and a layer of corn tortillas to the gluten-free lasagna. Top the gluten-free lasagna with a layer of zucchini. Top both with a layer of sausage, followed by a thin layer of ricotta. Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella on top. Pour another spoonful or two of sauce, and repeat with the noodles/tortillas, zucchini, sausage, and cheeses. Top with a bit more sauce, and sprinkle the remainder of mozzarella on top of both lasagnas. Sprinkle parmesan evenly on top of both as well.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, tented with foil, until the noodles on the regular lasagna are tender. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes, and serve.

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16 Comments

Filed under Beef, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Pasta

16 responses to “Kids in the Kitchen: Lasagna, Two Ways

  1. The lasagna looks terrific! Esp. the gluten-free one, marvelous.
    Angie’s Recipes

  2. I love the idea of subbing corn tortillas. I had to try several stores before I found gluten-free lasagna noodles last time I needed them, so it would definitely make life easier!

  3. Great looking lasagnas. I have used the corn tortillas in texmex style lasagnas before. Great call using the zucchini in the lasagna.

  4. I love lasagna, too. Nice save on make the gluten-free version. I’ve heard about using tortillas, but I have yet to try it. I think I should as that looks delicious!!!

  5. They both sound so good I wouldnt know which to pick!

  6. Looks gorgeous what a tasty lasagna!

  7. Very cool! Never thought of using corn tortillas in a lasagna before.

  8. ohhh that lasagna looks wonderful! I have used whole wheat tortillas for a mexican lasagna and It was amazing! I wonder if there is gluten free whole wheat tortillas that you could try out :)

  9. tastyeatsathome

    Jessie, unfortunately, wheat is the “enemy” in gluten-free diets, so there aren’t gluten-free whole wheat tortillas. Sounds lovely though! I have seen brown rice tortillas though, I wonder how those would taste in a dish such as this…now you have me thinking!

  10. Looks delicious and well presented well done thx for sharing kisses xxx Rico|Recipes

  11. Yummm, I absolutely love lasagna, any way I can get it :) Fun twist on the recipe!

  12. Pingback: Kids in the Kitchen: Shepherd’s Pie « Tasty Eats At Home

  13. The lasagna looks so comforting and delicious – I just love the way the kids can contribute in the kitchen!

  14. tastyeatsathome

    Gina – Thanks! I’m enjoying it too, and so are the kids!

  15. rowland

    i was wondering if you would get around to trying the corn tortillas. For me it seemed more simple than trying to find gluten free lasagna noodles. i dont care for any gluten free noodle i have eaver had, they either turn into paste, or have a gritty texture. When something calls for noodles i use white rice.

  16. Pingback: Kids in the Kitchen: Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes « Tasty Eats At Home

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