I made “Its NOT Lasagna” for my family today. It looked like lasagna but it was gluten-free, nightshade-free and cow’s-milk-cheese-free . They had two helpings of “Its NOT Lasagna” –if you could call the portion they took initially a serving. I used commercially available gf noodles, home made hamburger and pumpkin sauce, and three different kinds of goat cheese.
It could be argued that tomato sauce based lasagnas are not lasagna either if you are a big food history nerd, like myself. Which I did.
I’ve made a vegan lasagna from Libro de Cucina (14th century) before.
If you want to make lasagne in lent, take the lasagne (wide pasta noodles) and put them to cook (in water and salt). Take peeled walnuts and beat and grind them well. Put them between the lasagna (in layers), and guard from smoke (while reheating). And when they go to the table dress them with a dusting of spices and with sugar. Libro di cucina
* 1 package of fresh lasagna noodles, or 1 package of dried cooked to soften
* 3 cups of walnuts, ground
* 1 cup raw cane sugar
* 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
* 1 tsp ginger, ground
* 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
Preheat oven to 350.
Place a sheet of parchment paper in a lasagna pain or grease pan.
Put a layer of noodles on pan, cover noodles with 1.5 cups of walnut meal. Cover the walnut layer with another pasta layer, and then repeat with 1.5 cups of walnut meal. Cover last layer with noodles. Brush top crust with oil or almond milk.
Bake for 45 minutes, until top is golden. Remove from oven and evenly cover top of pie with sugar and spices. Serve hot or cold.
Optional, but not strict to original recipe, mix sugar or honey and spices in with walnuts to bake.
There are other version from the 14th and 15th century, no tomatoes, just layers and cheese. Helewyse at medievalcookery.com compiled a fantastic list of different Italian recipes from the 14th-15th century. No tomatoes, but real lasagna.