I’ve wanted a great, not just decent, spaghetti sauce for ages and have finally crafted one that we love! What’s even better is that I also tried it in a lasagna and the gluten free noodles (Tinkyada) held up perfectly! I was so surprised because the few times I’ve tried rice spaghetti, they became pure mush. But these rice lasagna noodles were fantastic!
The sauce is thick, flavorful, and uses the tomatoes I canned last summer. I am always excited to use tomatoes from my own garden! If you don’t have home canned tomatoes, no worries, just use whole tomatoes with their juice.
Tips & Tricks ~ I personally cannot stand the fatty oil that sausage produces. So using paper towels, I continually wipe away the oil in the pan as it appears. This way you aren’t cooking the sausage in the oil. For a faster cooking time, substitute the stew meat with 1lb of ground beef. You won’t have the great texture that stew meat provides but will be able to use the sauce almost immediately. Just taste after 20 minutes of simmering to see if flavors have melded enough. Also, seasoning with a tiny bit of salt & pepper a few times while simmering creates a more flavorful sauce. If you wait till the very end to add salt – you end up with a recognizable ‘salty’ taste.
Inspiration for these recipes came from Gluten Free Recipe Box
1 lb beef stew meat, cut into bite size pieces
1 lb sweet italian sausage
1 cup chopped sweet onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1/2 tbsp dried tarragon
12 oz tomato paste
8 oz tomato sauce
32 oz homemade canned tomatoes or whole tomatoes with juices
1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
1-2 cups water
kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
In a large dutch oven, cook ground sausage until browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside in a separate bowl. Wipe pan down to remove excess oil and lightly brown the bite size pieces of stew meat. Once browned, remove stew meat from pan, adding to the bowl of ground sausage.
Wipe dutch oven down again, and heat two teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sprinkle with a pinch or two of kosher salt. Saute onions, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes, until turning soft and just beginning to brown. Add garlic, tomato paste, and dried herbs; sauteing for an additional minute. Add meat back to dutch oven and then add all other ingredients, through the bay leaf, and add 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp ground pepper. Stir well and if the sauce looks too thick, add up to 2 cups of water.
Bring sauce to a slow simmer and cook for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until stew meat is tender.
Yields: ~ 8 cups sauce
Tips & Tricks ~ This is a great dish to have kids help with! They can grate the cheese & sprinkle it over the lasagna, pour the sauce where needed, and of course, be in charge of the lasagna noodles. And you’ll be left with 1 or 2 extra noodles…kids love to eat these!
Using fresh herbs in the ricotta is my secret ingredient for this lasagna. The herbs provide a fresh vibrant taste to the lasagna that you can’t replicate with dried herbs. I’ve also found that the less sauce you use, the better. This allows for a more firm set of the lasagna. But no fears if you use more – it might be a bit runny but still as delicious. And any hard cheese (such as Gouda) can be exchanged for the Parmesan.
1 box of gluten free lasagna noodles (strongly recommend Tinkyada)
3 cups of spaghetti sauce
8 oz ricotta
fresh rosemary & oregano chopped (apprx 4tbsp total)
kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gouda cheese
Preheat oven to 350degrees.
Bring large pot of water to boil, adding a tbsp of oil and a tsp of salt. Add lasagna noodles, cooking for 10 minutes and then drain.
While lasagna boils, in a small bowl stir together the ricotta with fresh herbs and a dash of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill.
Using olive oil, ‘grease’ sides and top surface area of lasagna pan.
Add a little sauce to the bottom of your baking dish. You don’t want a lot of sauce on the bottom, just a thin covering – primarily of the sauce versus the meat. Spread 1 layer of lasagna noodles and then using a spatula spoon/spread a thin layer of ricotta over the noodles. You may need to use your fingers to spread it all over. Sprinkle with mozzarella and a few sprinkles of the grated Parmesan. Now add another layer of spaghetti sauce, noodles, ricotta and cheeses. Repeat layers until you have a final bit of sauce on top which you cover with the last of your mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, until cheese is nice & bubbly and browned all over. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting.