It’s been a long time since I’ve made lasagne in the traditional way. For some reason, I was somewhat inept (and probably still am) at mastering the art of being able to construct, cook, cut and serve a piece of lasagne without everything more-or-less spreading out on the plate. Not appealing … not appetizing! There had to be another way. Fortunately, I came across the idea of rolling up the filling inside each lasagne noodle … rather than constructing all those layers and then using wishful thinking to keep everything intact. Simple to assemble; elegant to serve.
Since lasagne lends itself so well to being ‘meatless’, I particularly appreciate the spinach with a ricotta-asiago-mozzarella cheese blend for the roll-ups.
Prep Time: 30 minutes Baking Time: 40 minutes
Number of Servings: 8 (15 rolls)
Ingredients for the Roll-ups:
15 lasagne noodles
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 package (300 g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and very well drained (squeezed)
2 cups (500 mL) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated asiago cheese (or Parmesan cheese)
1 ½ cups (about 150 grams) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup (85 mL) finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Kosher salt
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
5 – 6 cups marinara or pasta sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese
Freshly grated asiago cheese (or Parmesan cheese)
- Cook noodles just to the al dente stage (about 10-12 minutes), as they will be cooking more during the baking time. Drain, rinse with cold water, and lay on one or two large dry kitchen towels.
- While noodles are cooking, preheat oven to 3500 F (1800 C), and prepare filling: Whisk egg, and add thawed and well-drained spinach, the three cheeses, grated onion, garlic and seasonings.
- Generously cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with half of the marinara sauce.
- Place approximately 60 mL (1/4 cup) of filling on each lasagne noodle. Spread evenly over entire noodle. Roll up and place, seam side down, on the sauce. Be careful not to place the rolls too close together. You should have room for 15 rolls in a 9 x 13 pan.
5. Cover with remaining sauce. Cover with foil.
6. Bake, covered, for 35 – 40 minutes at 3500 F (1800 C).
7. Remove foil, sprinkle with 125 mL (1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese and some grated asiago cheese. Continue to bake, uncovered, until cheese has melted 5 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 5-6 cups
2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup (125 mL) dry red wine
1 can (796 mL /28 fl oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (796 mL/28 fl oz) diced tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), undrained
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon (15 mL) Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
- Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add onion and sauté until fragrant and soft. Add garlic and heat through.
- Increase heat, and add wine. Stir, and reduce the wine …about 3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes, oregano, parsley, and seasonings.
- Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. After heat has been turned off, stir in the balsamic vinegar.
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