One thing that I miss eating the most being on a fructose free and FODMAP diet is my mum’s lasagne! It was always the meal that we requested when she asked us what we wanted for dinner and being from a family of four children, it wasn’t a meal that she always had time to prepare. Whenever we did get lasagne for dinner there were no complaints to be heard! So when it was requested to me the other night to make lasagne for dinner I thought maybe some of you would appreciate and fructose and FODMAP friendly version.
From the lack of onion and garlic, which can really be a hero of lasagne, I like to ensure that there is plenty of flavour by add HEAPS of fresh herbs. I use a lot of herbs in my cooking and love to have them planted in the garden. I’m currently propagating some rosemary cuttings to start a little rosemary hedge around my new veggie patch I’m planning.
Now I probably wouldn’t suggest that this is the best recipe to try if you’re new to the FODMAP diet. It’s really one to try once you’ve started to reintroduce things back into your diet and know what your limitations are. Mozzarella is classified as a low lactose cheese, so if you’re concerned about the lactose content overall I would suggest substituting the milk for a lactose free milk.
1 medium parsnip (diced)
3 carrots (diced)
1 red capsicum (diced)
1 red chilli
1 tbsp olive oil
1kg minced beef
2 x 440g tinned chopped tomatoes
½ cup water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
¼ cup fresh basil (chopped)
¼ cup fresh rosemary (chopped)
¼ fresh oregano (chopped)
2 tbsp fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
50g butter or nutlex
2 tbsp spelt flour
3 cups milk (a lactose free option can be substituted)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
300g gluten free instant lasagne sheets (I like San Remo Lasagne Sheets)
- Start by dicing and chopping all of your raw ingredients then in a large saucepan heat the olive oil and add the parsnip, carrot, capsicum and chilli. Sautee these until soft and have slightly browned.
- Add the mince to the saucepan with the vegetables and brown. Ensure you keep the heat high so your mince does not stew.
- Once the mince has browned add the chopped tomatoes and use the ½ cup of water to rinse out your tins adding this to the saucepan also. Add the brown sugar and stir through.
- Bring the pan to a simmer and then turn down quite low so it is just bubbling away. Add all the fresh herbs, along with salt and pepper to taste. I usually add a very generous pinch of salt here.
- Allow the meat sauce to slowly simmer for about an hour to allow the flavours to develop.
- In the meantime, make your béchamel by firstly making a roux (pronounced ‘roo’). Melt the butter or nutlex in a medium saucepan. Once melted add the spelt flour and allow to cook until the texture resembles a ‘crumble’. It will also have a yellow colour, this is called a ‘blonde roux’.
- Slowly start to add small amounts of milk, stirring well between each addition. It is important to add the milk slowly so you do not end up with a lumpy sauce, you will also notice it thickening as you go.
- Bring the sauce to the boil and allow to simmer for a minute or two until it thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and add 1 ½ cups of the mozzarella, stirring well until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reserve the remainder of the cheese for the construction phase.
- To construct your lasagne, start with a thin layer of meat sauce in the bottom of a medium size casserole dish. Top with a small amount of béchamel sauce and then a layer of lasagne sheets. Continue this pattern, however with the next layer ensure you have a thicker layer of meat sauce and béchamel.
- After 3-4 layers of lasagne sheets, finish with a layer of meat sauce and béchamel then top this with the remaining mozzarella.
- Bake at 180˚C for 30 – 40 minutes until the cheese has melted and become golden.