Shana Speaks Wine

Wine Journalist, Copywriter, and Marketing Consultant

Drinking out loud. 

Knife + Cork: Gluten Free Lasagna and Cote du Rhone

Attention, students, Knife + Cork is back is session! We’ve rolled up our beach towels, put away the sunscreen and are back from summer vacay to bring you all-new recipes and wine pairings for fall. You missed us, didn’t ya?

The Dish

Gluten Free Lasagna

Butternut squash “Noodles”
2 Butternut squash peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick (tops only, reserve the bottoms for another use)

olive oil

2 ounces of parmesan cheese (for topping)

  1. Set oven to 400 degrees 
  2. Toss the squash strips in just enough olive oil to coat and arrange in a single layer on sheet trays lined with parchment paper.
  3. Roast 15 minutes or just until tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool

Balsamic caramelized onions

3 Tablespoons of Olive oil

3 yellow onions, thinly sliced

Pinch of salt

2 sprigs of thyme leaves

1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large pan, add the onions gently toss to coat them in the oil
  2. Add the thyme and reduce the flame to a low and cook covered for about 30-40 minutes
  3. Once completely tender add the balsamic and cook covered for another 10 minutes, they onions should be caramelized and syrupy
  4. Transfer them to a bowl and set aside

Garlic spinach/Ricotta filling

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

1 clove of garlic, sliced thinly

1 pinch of chili flake

15 ounces of baby spinach leaves

20 ounces of part skim ricotta

1 Teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large pan, add the garlic and chili flake and sauté until golden, remove and discard the garlic but not the oil
  2. Add the spinach and cook just until wilted, remove from the heat and squeeze out the excess moisture
  3. In a large bowl, fold together with the ricotta and set aside

Turkey sausage ragu

1 pound of Italian turkey sausage

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

8 ounces of cremini mushrooms, sliced thin

36 ounces of your favorite store bought tomato sauce
  1. Remove sausage from the casing. 
  2. Brown sausage in medium saucepan grently breaking in apart.
  3. Remove the meat from pan and drain onto a plate lined with paper towel, 
  4. Add mushrooms and cook until nicely browned, 7-8 minutes. Return the turkey sausage to the pan and pour the sauce over, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes or nice and thick

  1. Using a 13x9 pan, spoon a thin layer of sauce, then the butternut squash slightly overlapping, add half of the caramelized onions, followed by a thin layer of the spinach ricotta mixture, repeat until the pan is full. Finish with a layer of sauce. 
  2. Lower oven to 350 degrees and bake covered with foil or 30 minutes 
  3. Remove from the oven and grate the parmesan on top
  4. Allow to stand at room temp 5 minutes before cutting

Bonus! Watch Dean cook this recipe on The Couch on CBS This Morning:

The Wine

With this lasagna, the sweetness of the squash and onions call for something really fruit-forward to complement their flavors. So, here’s where my main philosophy of “drink what you love” comes into play. A red zinfandel would work really well with this dish; however, I don’t really drink red zin so I can’t give you a solid recommendation. As an alternative, I think a Cote du Rhone, a wine that I love, would pair nicely; the ripe berries would match those sweeter veggies and the medium to medium-minus body ensures the turkey doesn’t get lost in an uber-rich red. One solid option is Gallician Costieres de Nimes Prestige 2010 (approx. $14). The nose on this particular wine had ripe berries of cherry, raspberry and strawberry, but a bit of blueberry and a hint of earth also come through. The palate had the same fruit flavors but the spiciness of Syrah comes through. which can give a little edge of interest, especially with the turkey sausage. A bit of acidity keeps the tomato sauce in check.

Welcome back, class!