World Pasta Day

Did you know that today, 25th October, is world pasta day?  It is a celebration of this global staple.  Eaten in moderate portions with lots of heart healthy additions like olive oil, fish, beans and vegetables pasta is really a good food!

Coeliacs like pasta too!  Here’s my contribution to you on world pasta day.  This is a recipe from my ‘Creative gluten-free lunches & dinners’ course this Saturday.  The brand of this brown rice pasta is ‘Rizopia’ and was really tasty – I fed it to 6 non-coeliacs.

Pasta for coeliacs

Veggie & Feta Lasagne

For 4

Veggie Layer

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, roughly sliced

1 leek, roughly sliced

1 stick celery, roughly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 red pepper, quartered, deseeded & sliced

½ glass white wine

Mushroom layer

8 large flat field mushrooms

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp  olive oil

1 tbsp  freshly chopped parsley

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

100g / 3 ½ oz  feta cheese

150-200g pasta sheets

Bechamel Sauce

30g / 1 oz butter

30g / 1 oz rice flour

500ml milk

1 small onion

1 bay leaf

2 black peppercorns

1  clove

Sea Salt

Black pepper

Top

30g / 1oz  finely grated parmesan (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas 4
  2. Place the mushrooms on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, garlic, parsley, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt.  Place them in the oven while its heating up.
  3. Begin the bechamel sauce.  Place the milk, whole onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and clove in a saucepan.  Bring the boil slowly and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes.
  4. Begin the veggie layer.  Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the roughly chopped onion, celery, leek and bay leaf.  Cover and sweat for 10 minutes.  Remove the lid and add the garlic, red pepper, pinch sea salt and black pepper and cook for 10 minutes uncovered.  Increase the heat under the vegetables and add the white wine.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  5. To make the bechamel sauce:
    1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat.
    2. Add the rice flour and cook gently for 3-4 minutes without allowing to brown or burn.
    3. Strain the milk and start adding it slowly to the rice flour paste, whisking well between each addition of milk.  It can get lumpy quite easily.  Continue adding all the milk gradually.  Season with salt and black pepper.
    4. Stir in the grated parmesan.
  6. At this stage the mushrooms should be cooked.  Remove them from the oven.
  7. To assemble the lasagne:
    1. Grease a lasagne dish with olive oil.  Place a layer of lasagne sheets on the base.  Cover with a thin layer of bechamel sauce.
    2. Cover with the whole veggie layer and another layer of lasagne sheets
    3. Top this with the whole, cooked mushrooms and crumble the feta cheese over this.
    4. Cover the whole dish with the remaining bechamel sauce.  Transfer to the oven and cook for 40 – 45 minutes until the lasagne is tender.

Lasagne 1

Lasagne 2

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