The D-Man has been asking for Capello’s Grain Free Lasagna every day since we had Capello’s Fettuccine. Each morning it’s the same question, “Momma, can we have Capello’s Lasagna for dinner? Since we’ve had a streak of warm weather the thought of turning the oven to 400 degrees has been less than appealing. The warm weather broke this weekend, so last night (to appease my son), I prepared a Mushroom and Prosciutto Lasagna, Sans Gluten and Grains thanks to Capello’s.
As I did with the Capello’s Fettuccini, I opted to use a homemade white sauce for the lasagna. I have nothing against tomato based sauces, but many people with Celiac Disease/Gluten Sensitivities are also sensitive to Nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.). Nightshades can be difficult to digest, and can cause inflammation. The D-Man is not a huge fan of nightshades for this reason, so when I do serve nightshades I always use a traditional method of preparing them; adding milk, cream or cheese to the dish which aids the body in the digestion process. But, I digress, so back to the homemade white sauce! Please, don’t be intimidated; once you know the basics of making a sauce you will realize that you do not need to be schooled at Le Cordon Bleu to make a sauce from scratch at home. The sauce you create will not only be healthy (made from the freshest and most nourishing ingredients), but safe (keep in mind many sauces contain wheat flour). Your grain free sauce will rival those served at the finest restaurants, and you will wonder why you ever bought gluten free sauces at the grocery store.
A little culinary history; there are 5 sauces in Traditional French Cooking referred to as the “Mother Sauces”. These sauces are: Béchamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomato, and Velouté. Other sauces (like the one I made for the Capello’s lasagna) are just variations of these 5 sauces. The recipe below is a varriation of a Béchamel and a Velouté. Simply put a Béchamel sauce is scalded milk mixed with equal parts of butter and flour. A Velouté Sauce is equal parts of butter, flour, and a light chicken, veal, or fish broth. If you add cheese (typically Gruyère and Parmesan) to your Béchamel you have what is referred to as a Mornay Sauce. My recipe for lack of a better term is a Mornay Sauce, but has the added nutrients of a homemade chicken bone broth. The sauce is very flexible and for those who are sensitive to casein it can be made by substituting Coconut Milk (for my Paleo friends or those with milk allergies simply make a Béchamel Sauce with coconut milk and leave out the cheeses). For my friends with nut allergies, you won’t be able to enjoy the Capello’s Pasta, but you can substitute your favorite pasta with this recipe.
This recipe looks complicated, but I assure you it is not difficult nor very time consuming to put this together. I have broken down both the ingredients, directions, and provided assembly instructions to make it easier to follow, so go ahead, impress your friends and family with your culinary prowess.
5 tablespoons Unsalted Pastured Butter
½ Cup Tapioca or Arrowroot Starch
4 Cups Whole Milk (coconut milk for my casein sensitive friends)
1 Cup of Chicken Broth (Homemade or Organic)
1 or 2 Fresh Organic Bay Leaves (Fresh)
1 Cup shredded Gruyère Cheese
½ Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon ground Organic Nutmeg
Celtic Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste (white pepper if you want to be fancy)
4 Tablespoons Pastured Butter, Bacon Grease or Coconut Oil (more if needed)
1 ½ teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Shallots or a Small Organic Onion finely chopped
1 ½ pounds assorted mushrooms, (cremini, shiitake, portabello, oyster, or button), stems trimmed and roughly chopped
1 Cup thinly sliced Prosciutto, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Organic Rosemary
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Organic Thyme
Ingredients for Assembly of the Lasagna:
1 Package (12 ounces) of Capello’s Lasagna
1 ½ Cups shredded Gruyère Cheese, (you can substitute shredded smoked mozzarella)
¾ Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Tablespoons of Unsalted Pastured Butter cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter a 9x13x2-inch baking dish and set aside.
Bring milk, broth, and bay leaf to a simmer (not a boil) in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
Remove from heat, and let the mixture cool for 10 minutes then discard the bay leaf(s).
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat.
Whisk in the tapioca/arrowroot starch and remove from heat stirring to make a thick paste. (this is called a Roux)
Add 1 Cup of the warm milk mixture and whisk to make a smooth and creamy paste.
Add the roux/milk mixture to the large saucepan containing the rest of your milk and heat at a simmer for approximately 3 minutes whisking frequently.
Remove from heat; add the Gruyère, Parmesan, and nutmeg stirring with a spoon until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the butter, oil or bacon grease over a medium heat. (I used bacon grease and butter)
Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft, (but not brown) about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
Add the mushrooms, rosemary, thyme and prosciutto, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden and the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. (if needed add more butter to prevent the mixture from sticking)
Add Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
To Assemble the Lasagna:
Ladle 1 Cup of the sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Lay 3 Capello’s Grain Free Lasagna noodles on top, overlapping the noodles.
Spoon ½ of the mushroom and prosciutto mixture on top of the pasta.
Ladle 1 cup of the sauce over the mushroom/prosciutto mixture and lay 3 more noodles on top.
Repeat the layers using the remaining mushroom mixture, 1 cup of sauce and the remaining noodles.
Top with the sauce and sprinkle with 1 Cup of shredded Gruyère, (or Smoked mozzarella) and 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese.
Scatter the cut butter on top of the lasagna and bake until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling (about 35 to 40 minutes).
Remove from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
This lasagna is rich, but the D-Man asked for seconds! My husband and I were stuffed, but my 8 year old was able to pack in another slice…Can you say growth spurt! In between bites all we heard was; “I love Capello’s, I love Stacey and Ben, I love Colorado”. I hope all of you will order and prepare Capello’s pasta too….Then you will understand the D-Man’s accolades are well deserved. If you don’t live in Colorado you can order Capello’s Grain Free Pasta on-line via their website: http://cappellosglutenfree.com/home
Happy eating, and let me know if you ,like the D-Man, can eat more than one slice of this lasagna.