from one generation to the next
Being forced to eradicate wheat from my diet has created the challenge to find a brand of gluten free pasta that satisfies my discerning palate. I expect gluten free pasta to be like, well,….pasta. Is that too much to ask?
Most brands are gluey, stick together in the pan and readily disintegrate. The mouth feel is stodgy and they have no flavour. I won’t name brand names, but the people who work in the product development labs within these manufacturers seriously need to taste real pasta, high quality pasta so they know what they are trying to emulate.
The wonderful people at “Farabella” in the Abruzzo region of Italy have succeeded in making a fair dinkum pasta that is gluten free using corn flour, rice flour and corn starch. Available in more than 22 short shapes, they also make spaghetti, lasagne sheets and canneloni tubes. It cooks perfectly to al dente without clumping or disintegrating, and the best part is it tastes like pasta!
I’d be hard pressed to pick this as a gluten free product in a blind tasting.
Bolognese sauce, half this recipe
Bechamel sauce, recipe below
100g parmigiana reggiano
8 lasagne sheets (this may vary according to the size of your dish)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Prepare the Bolognese sauce, this can be done the day before.
Cook the lasagne sheets in plenty of boiling salted water for the time specified by the manufacturer. Drain the pasta, then keep it in a bowl of iced water until ready to use.
Oil an shallow oblong ovenproof dish , or as I did, 2 small dishes.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Spoon a small amount of bolognese sauce into the ovenproof dish and spread it thinly over the surface. This will prevent the bottom pasta sheet from sticking. Now layer the meat sauce and pasta sheets into the dish until it is full or you have run out of ingredients. Finish with a layer of bolognese sauce. Top the lasagne with a thick layer of cheesy bechamel, then scatter the surface with dried oregano.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving with a crisp green salad and a glass of red wine.
1/2 cup plain flour
600mls hot milk
Salt pepper and nutmeg
Melt the butter over a low heat, then add the flour and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Gradually add the hot milk whisking vigorously with a wire whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese then season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. The sauce is now ready to use.