That’s damn right. Of course it gets even better the next day when you reheat the leftovers, that’s if you avoid eating it all in one sitting.

This one takes quite a bit of time to prepare so best if you start early and have someone to help too. You can save some time by using store-bought pesto instead of making your own, but be sure to get a good quality one. We’ve found that the pesto can make a huge difference to the flavour of this dish. Pesto should basically be basil, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. If your store-bought bottle of pesto has much more than that it’s probably topped up with flavour enhancers, additives and preservatives. A good quality pesto shouldn’t need to have all that extra crap. Same with your Balsamic vinegar. There’s no need for caramel colourings and flavours in Balsamic vinegar. Invest in a good quality vinegar and you will be impressed.

Vegetarian Lasagne, Gluten-free lasagna

Regardless it will always be a hit with everyone, but if you’ve made it a few times you will notice how a good quality tasty pesto really improves things.

To make this dish Coeliac friendly all you need to do is buy gluten-free lasagne sheets. We buy corn-based ones that don’t need pre-cooking. The other thing is to be sure that the cornflour used to thicken the Bechamel sauce is also gluten-free. The rest of the dish is naturally gluten free.

What’s involved is making a tomato sauce, grilling the eggplants and capsicums, making (or buying) the pesto and adding a white Bechamel sauce.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Olive oil
  • 3 large eggplants (aubergines) cut into slices about 1cm thick
  • 3 large capsicums (red peppers), cut into quarters and seeds removed
  • Tomato sauce (see separate instructions on ingredients and how to prepare)
  • 1 packet instant lasagne sheets (gluten-free)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
  • Pesto (see separate instructions)
  • ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • White (Bechamel) sauce (see separate instructions)

Roasting the veggies:

1. First off start preparing your roasted vegetables. Take the eggplant slices and brush both sides with oil. Roast under a hot grill until both sides are brown.

2. Place the capsicums under the hot grill with the skin side up until the skin blackens and blisters. Place the hot capsicums into a sealed plastic bag for about 5 minutes.  The steam in the bag should help to get the skin off. After about 5 minutes, peel off the skin and cut the capsicum into thick strips.

Vegetarian Lasagne, Gluten-free lasagna

Preparing the tomato sauce (version 1 – roasted tomatoes):

You can make the sauce in several different ways depending on how much time you have. If we have plenty of time, we will roast the tomatoes in the oven first.

  • 6 large tomatoes, halved
  • 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Brown sugar
  • Knob of butter

Cut the tomatoes in half and lay flesh-side up in a oiled baking dish. Drizzle a little Balsamic vinegar and a dash of brown sugar on each of the tomatoes and a few bits of garlic on each. Roast in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes to an hour.

Remove the tomatoes from the baking dish and place aside. In the baking dish add a knob of butter to the leftover juices. With the baking dish over a medium heat add the onion and cook until lightly browned. Return the tomatoes to the baking tray and mix well. Add sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Preparing the tomato sauce (version 2 – tinned tomatoes):

  • 2 tins of whole tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Brown sugar

Lightly fry the garlic for a few seconds in a dash of olive oil before adding the onions and stirring until lightly browned. Add the tinned tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a dash of brown sugar and some tomato paste to thicken. Simmer for at least twenty minutes, occasionally stirring until slightly thickened. Add sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Vegetarian Lasagne, Gluten-free lasagna


If you want to prepare your own pesto you will need a blender or food processor and the following:

  • 1½ cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 50g parmesan cheese, coarsely grated

Blend the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts with a little of the olive oil until a puree. Continue to blend while adding the remainder of the oil. Stir in cheese just before serving or using.

White (Bechamel) sauce:

  • 5 teaspoons cornflour
  • 300mL milk
  • knob of butter
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Blend the cornflour with 75mL of the milk. Heat the remainder of the milk and the butter in a saucepan until just boiling. Pour the hot milk over the cornflour mixture and then return to the saucepan. Bring to the boil again stirring continuously for a minute or two until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Putting the whole lot together:

1. Oil a large rectangular baking dish and preheat the oven to moderate.

2. Layer the following in the dish:

  • A third of the tomato sauce,
  • a third of the lasagne sheets,
  • another third of the tomato sauce,
  • half of the eggplant,
  • half of the mozzarella,
  • third of the lasagne sheets,
  • remaining tomato sauce,
  • all of the capsicum,
  • the remaining mozzarella,
  • the remaining lasagne sheets
  • the remaining eggplants.

Spread the pesto on top of the top layer of eggplants and cover in the white Bechamel sauce. Cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Uncover the lasagne, sprinkle parmesan on top and bake for a further 30 minutes until browned.

Remove from oven and leave to sit for 5 minutes uncovered.

Enjoy !

Vegetarian Lasagne, Gluten-free lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagne, Gluten-free lasagna