Italian Heritage + Gluten Free + Dairy Free = One Very Sad Woman
Italian + Gluten Free + Dairy Free x A Love of Cooking / Experimental Approaches in the Kitchen = A Shining Moment of Culinary Brilliance
Are you following my math here? After many years preparing food for a gluten and dairy free household, living without lasagna was no longer acceptable in my book.
How sad is this... My kids didn't even know what I was referring to when I said I had made lasagna for dinner. Zero frame of reference. Completely unacceptable in the kitchen of a woman with rich Italian heritage. I became bound and determined to create a lasagna that was a fair match for the real thing that my grandmother would make for me as a child.
This recipe has been a long time coming, friends. Try it out. And if you've been gluten and dairy free for a long time, allow yourself to radiate with joy after your first bite. Go ahead and take a deep breath. Now sigh. And smile.
Kick Ass Lasagna (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)
2 TBS olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 TBS dried crushed oregano
1 tsp salt
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
1 cup red wine (Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon would be a fine choice here)
14 ounce can diced tomatoes
28 ounce can tomato sauce
Cashew Cream "Ricotta"
2 cups raw unsalted cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 large handfuls fresh Italian parsley
Tinkyada brand - 10 ounce package
The Preparation Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Begin soaking the cashews, if they are not already set out to soak.
Set large pot of water to boil.
Follow package directions for cooking the lasagna noodles. Word to the wise, use the noodles you have to cook first. I tried this recipe with the no-cook variety and it did not have the right consistency. In fact, it was quite icky in comparison to the Tinkyada version.
While cooking, season the meat with the oregano and salt.
New York Times article from March 2007.
And now on to the cashew cream "ricotta" cheese...
What we'll be doing in this segment is recreating the ricotta cheese flavor and consistency for the sake of actually enjoying our gluten and dairy free lasagna when it's all said and done.
Drain the water away from the soaked cashews.
Let cool a bit before diving in. Enjoy!
It's December. You know what that means around here. It's a Christmas music bonanza! This is one of my absolute favorite Christmas tunes of all time. An ode to my old Italian grandmother — a little Frank Sinatra for your listening pleasure.
Frank Sinatra - Mistletoe and Holly