Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lasagna Rolls

I have had this recipe for so many years, I can't believe I'm just now getting around to posting it. The first time I made it was for some friends we had over for dinner and it was a huge hit!

I've had some serious cravings the past couple of months. Pregnancy will do that to you once in a while. I could not stop craving lasagna so I just had to make it again. Now, I don't usually make meals with so much dairy when my husband works (lactose-intolerant), but he had the week off so he said to bring it on.

I like that this lasagna uses a marinara rather than a meat sauce. I felt like the cheese and spinach mixture were definitely filling enough and more the star of the dish. However, we all loved the little crumbs of bacon here and there, which gave it a yummy kind of smoky taste.

Although these lasagna rolls may have an extra step or two compared to your typical lasagna, it's definitely worth it and not difficult. To save time when you're actually putting it together, you can do some of the steps ahead of time, like prepare your favorite marinara sauce, cook and crumble the bacon and even make the bechamel right before. You've gotta try these, you'll just love them!

Lasagna Rolls

For the Bechamel Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg

For the Lasagna:
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
6 ounces bacon
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided

Turn oven to broil. Place bacon slices on a cookie sheet and broil about 4-5 minutes on one side. Flip bacon over and cook another 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Once cool, crumble bacon and reserve.

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, bacon crumbles, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. (I actually used my stick blender to blend the spinach, ricotta and egg together, before I added the rest, so my girls wouldn't pick out the spinach. And it worked too!)

Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Salt, if desired. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite; about 1-2 minutes shy of what the package says to cook them for. (Note: I always add 2-3 extra noodles in the pot in case I need more or they rip.) Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

Butter a 13x9 glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3-4 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at one end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down on top of the bechamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon the marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes to firm up a bit.

SOURCE:Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

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  1. Thank you! I hope you try them, they really are delicious.


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