Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ready for the oven.
Lasagna Rollups

Lasagna is one of my favorite meals to eat, but not so much to make.  I have watched oodles and noodles of teevee chefs make their version of this classic Italian dish in hopes of discovering an easier way... then --Giada.   Yes, THEE Italian cheftress did it.  And what did she do that was soooo great?  She ROLLED the noodles.  That's it.

Well, to be fair, she does her little "Giada magic" using fresh pasta and prosciutto pronouncing it all in her oh-so-authentic Italian accent.  Yeah, well, I'm Irish, so it's not gonna happen.

So this is my take on Giada's recipe. If you're just dying to try her version.. humpf... here's a link to her recipe.  Giada's Lasagna Roll-ups

Make Lasagna noodles according to package directions... You want them flexible, but not all the way done.  Work fast at the rolling part, or the cooled lasagna might get inflexible.

Cheese filling:

1 package of frozen chopped spinach- thawed and squeezed dry
1 container of small curd cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
couple of handfulls of grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
2 eggs beaten

mix all the ingredients and set aside

My easy "doctored" sauce:
  • Heat some olive oil in a skillet; soften some diced sweet onion and green pepper.
  • Add a drained can of petite diced tomatoes.  
  • Sprinkle in some Italian seasoning and garlic--either chop the garlic fresh, sprinkle in some garlic powder or squeeze in the ready minced stuff... I've done it all! 
  • Now, what I normally do is just open a can of Hunts ready made spaghetti sauce.  You could just use plain tomato sauce, but I like the extra seasonings.  Let this simmer for a while.   
When the noodles are ready:

  • Spoon some sauce in the bottom of your lasagna pan. (13x9)
  • Take the lasagna noodles out of the water and let them cool slightly. -I usually lay them across some parchment paper over a kitchen towel. 
  • Spoon the cheese filling onto the noodle  and roll up.  
  • Place rolled lasagna seam-side down into baking dish. (You could also stand them on edge. This is pretty, but they don't stay rolled as well as laying them flat)
  • Continue until baking dish is filled with rolls.
  • Pour the rest of the spaghetti sauce over the lasagna rolls and top with shredded mozzarella.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 or 40 minutes.

If you're worried about the cheese burning, spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and loosly put it spray side down over your baking dish.  The spray keeps the cheese from sticking to the foil.


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