Friday, August 24, 2012

Gluten Free Lasagna Rolls

I've got a great dinner recipe for you today -- Gluten Free Lasagna Rolls. It's adapted from the one of Giada de Laurentiis's recipes from The Food Network.

I take zero credit in the creation of this recipe, other than showing you how simple it is to swap two single ingredients (the noodles + flour, of course) and turn it Gluten Free!

Two swaps. That's it!

Perhaps Gluten Free eating isn't as difficult as you originally thought. One swap, here or there. Not too bad, eh? :)

I'm not into re-creating the wheel, but rather showing how the "wheel", so to speak, can work for you. I'm trying to show you how you can take just about any recipe + make it Gluten Free.

Before we begin...Here's A Cooking GF Lasagna Noodles Tip...
Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles do cook much differently than their wheat based counterpart. They seem to break apart easier, because they are made from rice, therefore I try my best not to cook them more than say 6 minutes...or just to the point where they are getting soft and I can roll them, but not SO soft to the point where if I pull them out of the boiling pot, they are breaking apart into a million pieces.

Just keep that in mind. :)

One More Tip on Cooking Pasta...
Always salt your water (add maybe a tablespoon) + add about a tablespoon or two of Olive Oil as well. Your salted water should taste like the ocean, just before you add your pasta into it. ;)


To Make Gluten Free Lasagna Rolls, you'll first want to start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees.

I also put a pot of water on the stove to boil at this time as well. Add salt + oil to your water.

In addition, I recommend defrosting the spinach before you begin. To speed up the process, I usually place it in a small strainer over hot water. Wrap in a paper towel to dry + squeeze out the excess water.

To Make The Roux/Bechamel Sauce...
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add the Gluten Free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill) and whisk for 3 minutes. DO NOT let it burn!

As soon as you see it barely starting to turn a light brown (and I mean barely!), Whisk in the milk.

Increase the heat to medium-high and whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and thickens. It'll take about 3 minutes. You'll know it's ready, just like with the Mac + Cheese, when you can swipe the back of the wooden spoon with your finger and it stays clean. It should be nice and smooth.

Pour the bechamel sauce into a 9 x 13 baking dish. You'll be piling your Lasagna Rolls on top of it like this:

Prepping The Filling...
Start by cracking 1 egg into a large bowl.

Next, add your ricotta cheese (15 oz.) + cup of Parmesan cheese (freshly grated or packaged, either is fine).

Mix the egg, ricotta cheese + parmesan cheese together. Stir until combined.

Add your chopped spinach, prosciutto, and salt + pepper to the bowl. Stir until combined.

I make this recipe on a regular basis and the most recent time that I made it, I tried changing it up and using a pre-packaged prosciutto that was diced from the store (shown in photo).

After trying it though, I'd say that I prefer the thinly sliced prosciutto, even though it requires a slightly longer prep time. Both taste great but I think the thinly sliced prosciutto incorporates better into the filling.

Something like this would work (4 oz. package):

Once you've incorporated everything that will go into the filling, you can place it the refrigerator and begin prepping the rest of the meal.

Prepping The Lasagna Noodles...
Your water should now be boiling + you can toss the lasagna noodles into the water at this time.
Reminder: Don't let it cook too long (See tip above).

Once the lasagna noodles are cooked, drain them and begin laying them out onto a baking sheet. I covered my baking sheets with parchment paper. It's not necessary, but that works best for me.

See how the noodle on the right broke? That's ok! These noodles can be sticky and you can roll them right back to together once you add the filling.

Putting It All Together...
You can now start adding a large scoop (about 2-3 tablespoons) onto the end of each noodle.

I hope you're not afraid to get your hands dirty! Now it's time to roll up the Lasagna Rolls! :)

And place them into pan like so...

Time For The Marinara Sauce + Cheese...
Top the Lasagna Rolls with 1 jar of GF marinara sauce + some mozzarella cheese. 

I prefer to add more  than the recipe calls for. :) 

Cover with foil + bake for 20 minutes.
Remove foil and continue baking another 15 minutes...until it looks like this!

Serve + Enjoy!! :)

Happy Italian Gluten Free Eating! :) 
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