Yes, I AM quoting a movie from 1999! HOLLA!
I love lasagna. To me, it is probably one of my Top 5 favorite meals. Of course, lasagna isn’t always healthy plus it takes awhile to make and can get expensive. The lasagna I make is AWESOME but it requires me to make a meat sauce, and then layer what turns into a 10 pound dish with ricotta, Parmesan, shredded and fresh mozzarella and provolone cheeses. And then bake for what seems like an eternity. Seriously, it is amazing but can get pretty pricey with the cheeses and takes awhile to prepare and cook. I make this lasagna maybe once or twice a year just because, really who has the time?!?!
But again, I love lasagna so I have been searching for variations that are less expensive and quicker to make. I have seen recipes for Lasagna cupcakes HERE but they move away from the lasagna noodles all-together and use wonton wrappers. Sounds good, but not the same when you are looking for a quick version of lasagna.
And then I found this, Lasagna Roll Ups!!
Recipe HERE or below.
I will tell you my thoughts first and just leave the recipe below for your reference.
I have to say that I LOVED these. It hit the flavor and taste of lasagna without all the fuss and expense! I also love the addition of spinach in the lasagna.
NOTES: I did not use the prosciutto as I wanted a meat free dinner. But I bet you could saute up some onion and ground turkey and add it into the ricotta mixture and it would be very tasty. I also do not think the white sauce is necessary at all and really didn’t add anything to the meal and was just one more pan to clean. I would just put more marinara sauce on the bottom and omit the white sauce all together the next time I make this.
I also love how these are already portioned out pieces. I got 13 roll-ups based on the amount of ricotta I put inside. These also reheat very well. I actually made them to serve for lunches during the week for the three of us and they heated up nicely.
Sauce: (I would omit – not necessary)
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
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
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped (optional – I left out)
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
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)
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, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.
Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish.
Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread a large spoonful (about 3 tablespoons worth) of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll.
Example of how to roll one noodle.
Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture.
Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls.
This is the bag of cheese taunting me as I tried to avoid eating all of it before putting it on the lasagna.
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. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.
Henry totally was digging this lasagna too!! The applesauce is another story :-)
Overall....I totally recommend this recipe and believe it will become a regular in our house!!