Penne Lasagna Bake

3 Oct

The other day I was browsing menus of local restaurants for new gluten free items and I came across an Italian place that had lasagna featured on their menu. No, it wasn’t gluten free, but it made me realize that I hadn’t eaten lasagna in nearly 3 years! Well, I had, but it wasn’t my mom’s. Despite it not coming from my mom’s oven, Amy’s Gluten Free Garden Vegetable Lasagna is absolutely delicious. I wish I could find it more readily near my house.

I then turned my attention to how I could make my own. I could make my own pasta and try it in lasagna, I bought DeBoles rice lasagna noodles but have yet to try them (but am excited to do so), but I just don’t seem to have the time these days. So, I improvised. What did I use instead? GF penne. It turned out just as cheesy, delicious, and flavorful as the lasagna I thought I’d missed. We enjoyed it with roasted broccoli with parmesan and it was a fine meal.

Here we go:

1 12 oz box Schar gf penne pasta

2 c ricotta cheese

2 c fresh spinach

8 oz (2 c) shredded mozzarella cheese, halved

1 24 oz jar Classico Florentine Spinach and Cheese tomato sauce

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground pepper

Dash of red pepper flakes

Dash of ground nutmeg

First things first: preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook pasta to al dente – DO NOT OVERCOOK! If you overcook the pasta, it will get super soggy when you bake it. I drained my pasta almost before al dente, actually.

While the pasta is cooking, in a bowl combine: the ricotta, herbs and spices, tomato sauce, and half of the mozzarella. Tear up the spinach by hand and toss it in as well. Stir to combine.

When the pasta in drained, add it to the cheesy mixture and toss to coat. Pour it into a 9 x 13 greased baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella.

Throw the pan in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and looks deliciously golden and bubbly. When it is heated through and gooey, pull it out and let cool for a bit for the sauce to set up a bit.

If I were really ambitious I would have served this with homemade french bread, a salad, and roasted broccoli. Instead, we just had the broccoli to accompany it, and it was perfect! Everyone gobbled it up. Luckily for me, everyone in my household  looks forward to dinner and never second guess the gluten content. 🙂

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