Friday, December 28, 2012

Lasagna Roll Ups

By now the little petite lasagnas I came up with years ago have become a family staple in my household. My mom routinely asks me to make them and has made them herself on more than one occasion. She has told me more than once that she loves how they have all the great flavor of traditional lasagna but is already individually portioned and convenient to take to work or school. 

In an effort to mix things up a little I decided to try out a new but similar concept: lasagna roll ups. Like the petite lasagnas, these roll ups are also individually portioned and therefore easy to pack up. However these roll ups are even more like the real thing because they use lasagna noodles while the petite lasagnas use wonton wrappers. 

As with a lot of new recipes, the first time I make something it takes a bit longer because I have to learn the technique while I’m doing it. These roll ups were no exception; my first few were not nearly as great as the ones I made toward the end because I overfilled them. As a result, when I went to roll up the pasta I had filling spilling out the sides. I adapted for the subsequent rolls and had much better results

Due to the fact that I had some chicken leftover from stock I had made, I decided to use it in the filling. I had never actually tasted chicken lasagna before, only having the ground beef and vegetarian versions. I can’t quite say that I liked it as much but I did like the idea of the roll up. I think that in the future I will stick to the same filling as the petite lasagnas but apply it to the roll up just for some variety.

Lasagna Roll Ups
Note: These ingredients and directions are for the roll ups with a vegetarian sauce. If desired, add a layer of meat filling before sprinkling with cheese and rolling up the pasta.
  • 12 lasagna pasta sheets 
  • 1 500 g container ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ¼ cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5-6 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil 
  • Optional: ¼- ½ tsp chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Cook the pasta sheets according to the package instructions. Rinse under cold water and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat then sauté the onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped bell pepper and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. 
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, dried thyme and basil, chili flakes (if using), and 2 tsp of dried oregano. Mix everything well and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Using a hand blender or standing one, blend everything until an even consistency (note: it will still be chunky, not smooth, just make sure there are no large pieces). Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. While the sauce is thickening, combine the ricotta cheese, beaten egg, fresh parsley, and remaining tsp of oregano. 
To Assemble:
  1. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9” x 13” pan.
  2. Lay down each pasta sheet individually. Spread a thin layer of the ricotta mixture along the pasta sheet, leaving about ¼” on each side and a ½” at the top.
  3. Spread a layer of sauce over top the ricotta mixture. If using a filling spread that on top.
  4. Sprinkle some freshly grated cheese over the sauce.
  5. Working from the bottom, carefully roll the pasta sheet up and place the roll, seam side down, into the pan. Repeat with remaining pasta.
  6. Pour the remaining sauce over top of the rolls and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the cover in the last 5 minutes to allow the cheese to fully melt and bubble. 


No comments:

Post a Comment