Classic Lasagne – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

Italian Lasagne - Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

Hi guys! I’m sorry that it’s been so long between posts but I’m finally writing recipes for my own blog again – and this lasagne is a great way to get back into it. It’s both a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for winter meals (hello Melbourne!); it’s also easy to assemble and either refrigerate or freeze until you need a pre-made dinner, or you can bake it and then have your lunches made for the week ahead.

Who am I kidding? You’d have enough for ten lunches if you ate it with a side salad.

I’m not going to lie, you’ll need to set aside some time for this dish as it cannot be rushed – quick Bolognese sauce is almost never good – but it is totally worth all the effort. And, really, the Bolognese is not difficult, the stove does all the work. You just need to stir it every now and then. The bechamel sauce is more involved but, again, it’s really just a matter of stirring/whisking it properly to get it smooth. If it’s still lumpy and not getting better, you could also just chuck it in the blender. 😉

Once you get to assembly, this basically makes itself.

A note for the purists – I am not Italian, and I follow a low FODMAP diet – so this is as traditional as I can get while keeping this dish onion and garlic free. So far there have been no complaints.

FODMAP Notes

  1. This lasagne, while low FODMAP, does contain large amounts of protein and fats if you over indulge. In addition to FODMAPs, these can cause issues for some with IBS, so be careful if this is you.

Classic Bolognese Sauce

  1. This recipe is onion free but if you can tolerate onion then add in up to 1 onion diced finely and brown at the beginning with the other veggies.
  2. Either infuse garlic into your own olive oil or buy it pre-made. If you can tolerate the garlic, then feel free to mince it and leave it in. You’ll notice I’ve done this.
  3. Either use tomato paste, which is not low FODMAP but some can tolerate it spread throughout multiple serves, or a fructose friendly tomato sauce (as in ketchup for those in the USA) of your choice. Monash lists a serve (2 sachets) of non-HFCS containing tomato sauce as low FODMAP. If you can tolerate neither tomato paste or tomato sauce, add in 1 tsp. of sugar and 1 tsp. of white wine vinegar, instead.
  4. If you can’t tolerate any wines, a FF chicken or beef stock or tomato juice could replace some or all of the red wine for fluid. Just use what you can cope with, even water would do, though you might need to add in a little extra salt and pepper etc for flavour.
  5. Green leek leaves are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup serves; this recipe spreads 1 full cup over 6-8 serves, so is safe.
  6. Celery is low FODMAP in 1/4 medium stalk serves, 1/2 a medium stalk contains moderate amounts of polyols. This recipe contains 1 cup of diced celery, which is approx. 2 cups, so a 1/8th serving is low enough in celery to be low FODMAP but if you are extra sensitive, feel free to replace it with celeriac (celery root), which has a similar taste to celery and is lower in FODMAPs. For a completely different (yet delicious) taste, you could replace celery with red or green capsicums that have been roasted and peeled.
  7. One whole medium carrot is low in FODMAPs, though if you consume enough mannitol can become an issue. This recipe stays within safe serving limits.
  8. Canned tomatoes are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup serves; 800 g/28 oz of tinned tomatoes equates to approx. 3 cups of undrained tomatoes, so you could safely consume 1/6th of this recipe in terms of tomatoes (fructose) – however, you must remember that 1/8th of the dish is safe in terms of celery (polyols).

Bechamel Sauce (aka White Sauce)

  1. Butter, a butter/oil blend and dairy-free margarine are low FODMAP in 1 tbsp/19 g serves, according to Monash University. Half a cup of butter is equivalent to 8 tbsp., so the amount of butter in this recipe is safe when broken down into individual portions.
  2. Lactose free dairy milk is low FODMAP in 1 cup/250 ml serves, this recipe contains less than that per person.
  3. Parmesan cheese is a hard/aged cheese, which are low in lactose. If you are sensitive enough to lactose that you need to avoid even low lactose cheese then you could replace it with a low FODMAP vegan cheese or simply leave it out, as it’s an optional extra.

Classic Lasagne

Makes 8-10 low FODMAP serves.

Both sauces can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until you plan to use them.

Bolognese Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil to seal pot
  • 3 cloves of garlic – to infuse oil
  • 1 cup green leek tips
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup fructose friendly stock – chicken, beef or vegetable.
  • 500 g/1 lb beef mince
  • 500 g/1 lb pork or chicken mince
  • 800 g/28 oz tin of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste or FF tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • Oregano – approx. 1/4 cup fresh or 1/8 cup dried.
  • Thyme – 1/8 cup fresh or 1 tbsp. dried
  • Rosemary – 1/8 cup fresh or 1 tbsp. dried
  • 1/2 cup finely minced chives

Follow these instructions to make the Bolognese sauce.

Bechamel Sauce

You will most likely have left over bechamel sauce. It freezes well in an airtight container, or can be kept for a week in the fridge – it goes really well with broccoli and zucchini as a side dish.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 g) of butter or dairy free substitute
  • 1 cup of gluten free plain flour, potentially more or less if you use a different blend
  • 4-5 cups of lactose free milk or dairy free substitute
  • 2-3 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (optional)

Slowly melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan (a heavy base is best), over a low-medium heat. Once it has melted, create a roux by sifting in the gluten free flour a quarter cup at a time; whisk it through the butter until it forms a smoothe paste, then add each further quarter cup. Keep the heat to low/low-medium at the most, we don’t want the roux to brown as this is a white sauce.

The paste will eventually thicken so much that you might need to change to a spoon (depending on the quality of your whisk). You are aiming for a dough-like consistency, a thick paste that will keep its shape, as demonstrated here.

Once you have the thick paste, begin adding in the milk a bit at a time and whisk/stir each portion through well, before adding in the next. The mixture will begin to resemble soft mashed potatoes and, eventually, a smooth white sauce. If your sauce isn’t smooth, just use a stick blender to get rid of any lumps.

Keeping the heat low, season the sauce and feel free to stir through the grated cheese for a little extra oomph (though that’s not strictly traditional).

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Assembly

  • One pack of Tinkyada brown rice lasagne sheets (or similar – corn tortillas will also work in a pinch)
  • One batch of my low FODMAP Bolognese sauce
  • One batch of my low FODMAP bechamel sauce
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or oregano, shredded (to add after cooking)

Bring a large fry pan of water to the boil and pre-cook the lasagne sheets as per the packet instructions. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 190 C/375 F and get out a large baking dish.

Once you have all of your ingredients (except for the basil) in front of you, you can begin to layer your lasagne like so:

  • Bolognese sauce (1 cm thick)
  • Lasagne sheets
  • Bolognese sauce (1 cm thick)
  • Bechamel sauce (thin layer)
  • Lasagne sheets
  • Bolognese sauce (1 cm thick)
  • Bechamel sauce (thin layer)
  • Lasagne sheets
  • Bechamel sauce (thin layer)
  • Tomato slices and Parmesan cheese

Your lasagne is now ready to cook, or to refrigerate or freeze for cooking later on. Cover the lasagne with foil and bake for 30 minutes, before removing the foil and baking for another 20-30 minutes until the top edges have browned nicely (but not burnt).

Remove the lasagne from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving with a healthy side salad or cooked veggies and a nice glass of the red of your choice.

Enjoy!

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