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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mama's Lasagna
made gluten-free, of course, and with a reduced glycemic index option

An aunt recently exclaimed about my lasagna that it was the best lasagna she has ever had. That's high praise considering it had been in the freezer for a year! We haven't eaten dairy in about that long, so it just sat there. I finally gave it to someone who would love it. I thought, since I am sharing the recipe with her, I would share it with you all too!

Photo source: Chatelaine.com

My mama's lasagna is super easy to make. Her recipe goes like this:

1. Prepare meat sauce
2. Grate cheddar cheese
3. In casserole layer [gluten-free] lasagna noodles, sauce, and cheese
4. Top with sliced mozzarella
5. Add a little water (~1/2 cup)
6. Bake covered with foil

Ya... it's not rocket science. You'll notice there are no measurements. Just think about the deliciousness of the lasagna you are preparing and let your love of cheese guide you in determining how much is enough. :) Generally, one box of lasagna noodles is enough to make one lasagna. I do recommend making two at a time and freezing one for a future meal.

I think the secret is in the sauce... which is mine, not mama's. I never really liked mama's sauce, as much as I loved mama and appreciated her efforts. Actually, it's not my sauce either. It's one I have copied for years, ever since I bought the Pasta Presto cookbook by Norman Kolpas as part of some book-of-the-month club I was too weak to resist. Totally worth it, just for this sauce.
6 Tbsp olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbsp double-concentrate tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt 
     In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and onion; sauté until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
     Add the beef and raise the heat slightly. Sauté the beef until it has lost all its pink color and left a brown glaze on the pan, about 10 minutes.
     Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dissolve the pan deposits. Stir in the remaining ingredients and gently boil until thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over cooked pasta. 
Source: Pasta Presto by Norman Kolpas 
If you want to reduce the glycemic index of this sauce, you can substitute coconut palm sugar or xylitol for the sugar. Click here to view the glycemic indexes of various sweeteners.

I hope you enjoy this lasagna as much as we used to. One day soon, now that we are a dairy-free household, I will try this recipe with some vegan cheese. Daiya makes a decent product. It doesn't melt completely the way that cheese does, but it does melt enough to give a cheesy texture and taste on the tongue. I've used it in this Spaghetti Pizza Pie and it was delish!

Bon appétit!


This recipe is linked up with my 
favourite monthly recipe exchange. 
Come join the fun!


  1. Delicious! Lasagna is always a go-to recipe in this house. To spice it up, we look for variation in the filling or sauce or at the very least skip it every 4 months he he.

    I'll try to see if I can make your sauce, sounds very easy to make.

    1. It is very easy, Nadia. Simple ingredients sometimes make the best food, don't they? I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Yum! This looks delicious!

  3. I make a dairy-free lasagna with cashew "ricotta" - it tastes pretty close to the real thing and satisfies that need for the creaminess/richness of cheese. Just make sure the ricotta is not the very top layer as it can dry out in the oven. But you could sprinkle Daiya or cashew "parmesan" on top of the red sauce instead. I use GF Tinkyada lasagna noodles, then layer the "ricotta", then the already cooked-through sauce, then once more, and just heat it in the oven to desired warmth - nothing needs to be cooked.