Italian Tuna Lasagna

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  12 servings
Prep Time:  15 minutes Cook Time:  1 hour 5 minutes

Italian Tuna Lasagna

This cheese fest is packed with protein and calcium. Its creaminess hides a bunch of very healthy vegetables, making this handy for picky eaters who happen to like tuna. They are the magic in this recipe! It’s also easily adapted to a gluten-free version, but make sure, as always, that the other ingredients are also marked as gluten free. For a vegetarian option, substitute cooked, drained, roughly chopped chick peas( roasted chickpeas work great, but it's not necessary if you don't have any made), for the tuna.

Ingredients

The Vegetable Layer:

¼ cup olive oil

2 large onions, chopped, about 3 cups

3 cups fresh sliced mushrooms, any variety

12 cups (4 6-ounce bags) baby spinach and/or stemmed lacinato/tuscan kale and/or curly leaved kale(see kitchen tips)

3 cups (one 16-ounce bag) frozen baby peas, defrosted and pureed

The Cheesy Tuna Layer

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour mix or rice flour

1 tablespoon dried mustard powder

2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon celery salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups skim or 2 percent milk

16 ounces mascarpone cheese

2 cups mixed fontina, mozzarella, asiago, provolone, white cheddar, or monterey jack

1 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons pecorino romano cheese

3 (6 to 8 ounce) jars Italian tuna packed in olive oil

1 package (18 pieces) ready-to-cook lasagna noodles or gluten-free lasagna noodles, prepared according to manufacturer’s directions

The Topping

2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoon shredded parmesan (as soft and young as you can get)

½ cup panko or gluten-free panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • To Make the Vegetable Layer:
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the mushrooms, in batches as necessary, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their juices and darken, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the spinach, in batches, and cook until wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the peas, then remove from heat.
  • To Make the Cheesy Tuna Layer:
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the dried mustard, thyme, celery seed, and black pepper and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Whisk in the milk, then whisk in the mascarpone. (Switch to a spoon if preferred). When the mixture is fully heated through, add the cheeses and stir until melted. Add the tuna with oil and mix well to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch deep baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread a thick layer of cheese sauce over the bottom. Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles. Evenly spread all of the vegetables over the noodles. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles, then cover with the rest of the cheese. Top with another layer of noodles, then sprinkle the toppings over the top. Bake until hot and bubbling, about 45 minutes.

Kitchen Tips

Commercially packaged power greens work great here, but make sure remove the stems. Curly kale and any of the power green mixes will take longer to wilt since they are  tougher and let’s say more mature, leaves.

If you love mushrooms, add 2 teaspoons shiitake mushroom powder. It will add umami richness.

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