After last week's 5 Cheese Lasagna, I figured I'd share the first lasagna I ever made. It's a lot less work and just ridiculously easy.
Lasagna rolls are the easier and time-efficient version of lasagna. It's all the same ingredients, except instead of layers of ricotta and pasta--it's ricotta rolled in pasta. It's also really easy to serve and doesn't get messy since there is no slicing and cutting involved.
I first made lasagna rolls in college from the Giada De Laurentiis recipe on Food Network. Since then, I've made it so many times that I've managed to tweak it to taste, in my opinion, a little better. The recipe below has more veggies and cheese than the original.
- 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)
- Fontina Cheese
- Romano Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Mix ricotta, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
3. Add spinach, 1 cup Parmesan and 1.5 cup mozzarella to the ricotta filling. Add oregano or herbs to taste.
4. Add a tablespoon of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil noodles until just tender, but still firm to bite.
5. Drain. Arrange noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.
6. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2 glass baking dish.
7. Pour 1/2 the sauce over the bottom of the dish.
8. Add 3 tablespoons (or more based on what your noodle permits, and what you want) of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at one end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the rolls seam side down, without touching each other, on top of the sauce.
9. Top the rolls with the remainder pasta sauce.
10. Sprinkle the remainder of the mozzarella and Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. If you want a more cheesier lasagna, add Fontina and Romano Cheese.
11. Cover tightly with foil.
12. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes.
13. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes.
36 ounces of your favorite red colored pasta sauce (I use a type with mushroom)
1 ten ounce package of spinach
1. Pour pasta in a saucepan.
2. While sauce is heating in a pan, defrost the spinach. Add the defrosted spinach (once water is removed) to the sauce.
3. Optional: Add ground turkey.
4. Pour pasta sauce in prepared bake dish as directed above.
*Note: I'm not sure if this is purely psychological, but I found that when I let my ricotta mixture refrigerate overnight, it tasted better.
For a few laughs: