Nonna's Lasagna (Gluten/Dairy-Free Version) | Acne Nutritionist | Katie Stewart

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Nonna's lasagna on a white plate with fresh parsley.
March 5, 2022

Nonna’s Lasagna (Gluten/Dairy-Free Version)

Sunday Dinner

Nonna’s lasagna is not a quick weeknight meal.

My Nonna would wake up while it was still dark to begin making Sunday dinner lasagna. Her paper-thin, melt-in-your-mouth noodles were homemade (of course). She’d hang them on the backs of the kitchen chairs as she pressed the next one.

The sauce would simmer all day on the stove, melding all the flavours of the herbs and cinnamon stick together. After assembling, she’d top it with a rich and creamy bechamel sauce.

Lasagna was always served with mixed greens, olive oil/balsamic and Nonna’s homemade crispy, salty, buttery croutons. When my mom wasn’t looking, my Nonno would pour “just a little” of his wine into my brothers’ and I’s cup of ginger ale.

For post-lasagna night dessert, she’d pull out the panna cotta – which was a limited edition option because she’d bring the powdered mixed back from her trips to Italy. There were only so many panna cotta’s a year at Sunday dinner.

The rule of the table was one sibling cut and the other three picked their slice. Measuring sticks would often be involved. The adults would drink their espresso and grappa while we played Briscola at the kitchen table.

These are memories I now cherish.

Making It Gluten & Dairy Free

I’m celiac and lactose intolerant, but if my Nonna’s lasagna appeared in front of me today – I’d crush the entire thing in one sitting (and definitely not share with my three brothers). I’d suffer the consequences for one last bite.

Over the years, I’ve done my best to recreate it for my family. I still use her pots and wooden spoons to make it for family dinners or special occasions. When my Nonno was still alive, I’d always wait for his head nod with a “very close.” I’m pretty proud of myself for that.

And just because gluten and dairy have been off my menu for quite some time, doesn’t mean I was ready to give up making Nonna’s lasagna. I swapped her homemade noodles for brown rice (I promise I’m working on a “from scratch” noodle) and dairy for cashew sauce. The sauce and creamy topping that was her signature remain the same.

I hope she wouldn’t be too upset with my swaps. I can hear her saying “but it’s only just a little flour” as I tried explaining to an Italian grandmother what Celiac means and why I can’t eat regular pasta. This is my compromise, Nonna.

Nonna’s Lasagna (Gluten/Dairy-Free Version)

60 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

1 hr, 45 Total Time

Author:

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. grass-fed lean ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 16 brown rice lasagna noodles
  • 1 batch Nonna's Tomato Sauce (about 3 cups)
  • 1 batch cashew sauce (or favourite dairy-free cheese of choice)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste

Instructions

    To prep:
  1. Begin the sauce recipe first. Cover and allow it to simmer on low for at least 1 hour (up to 6 hours) – stirring occasionally.
  2. While the sauce cooks, put the cashew cheese recipe together (if using). Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. When ready to start the remainder of the recipe, preheat oven to 350F. Set aside a 9x13 glass casserole dish.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add beef, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt – browning mixture until cooked through.
  5. Drain the fat and add the beef mixture to the sauce. Tip: I use an immersion blender and give it a couple quick blends to break down the beef a little. Set aside.
  6. Cook noodles al dente according to the package instructions. Rinse under cold water and set aside.
  7. To assemble:
  8. Ladle a scoop of the meat sauce into the bottom of the pan. Top with 4 lasagna noodles (you can cut a noodle in half to fill the dish).
  9. Layer with meat sauce and dollop with cashew cheese.
  10. Repeat twice more – finishing with a top layer of noodles.
  11. Pour remaining cashew cheese over top.
  12. Cover with a layer of parchment paper and then aluminum foil to retain moisture.
  13. Bake in the oven at 350F for 45 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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https://katiestewartwellness.com/2022/03/05/nonnas-lasagna-gluten-dairy-free-version/

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Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

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Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

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