FoodGirl and the kitchen

All Rolled Up – Creamy and Lazy “Lazagna” Roll-Ups

Undoubtedly one of the very best inventions in food history is pasta or more commonly known around the world as the noodle. Its ease of use, versatility and price has made it a staple in countries all over the world. A rather meager combination of flour, water and eggs is transformed into an unforgettable and scrumptious meal with a few kneads of the hand. Of all the countries Italians have found the most variety for these three simple ingredients: capellini, orecchiette, fusilli, tortellini, ravioli, spaghetti, linguini, fettuccini… All of these are names of the same three ingredients transformed into a new shape, thickness and, undeniably, flavor. Italians have perfected the art of the pasta dough. By combining the chewy perfection with a complimentary sauce it makes me want to slurp up noodles late into the mid-afternoon or mid-night for that matter.

Today’s culprit is the very grande lasagna noodle. Why culprit? Because it makes me have to jump on the nearest piece of exercise equipment shortly after inhaling a plate, or two of it! Why lasagna? Because that’s what I happened to have in my pantry yesterday. Typically, lasagna is layered between numerous layers of cheese, sauce, veggies, noodles and more cheese… It is, essentially, a decadently rich, heavy and slightly tedious process. I myself am guilty of occasionally forgetting a layer and skipping some ingredients, ending up just covering the whole thing in gobs of mozzarella and marinara and throwing it in the oven. The other night I decided to take on something different. I boiled up some lasagna noodles, defrosted my homemade frozen marinara (I always have some hanging out in my freezer next to my chicken broth stash), slathered them up with ricotta, mozzarella and sauce and… off they went into the oven. Twenty minutes later several gooey creamy lasagna roll ups came out of my oven… begging to be eaten. And I did. And called it a success.

These are great for a super quick dinner or as an appetizer for a party. This way people can have just 1… or 2… or 3… or…

Lazy Lasagna Roll-Ups

INGREDIENTS:

1 16oz package lasagna noodles

1 pound part-skim ricotta

2.5 cups shredded part skim ricotta

1.5 cups homemade marinara sauce

1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1. Boil the lasagna noodles, until they are al dente in salted water.

2. Once the noodles are cooked, drain and lay flat on a cutting board.

3. Combine ricotta with 1/2 a cup of the parmesan and minced garlic; mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Take a rectangular baking pan and place about 1/4 of a cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan.

5. Take the lasagna noodles and place about 1 tbsp. of ricotta mixture and 1 tbsp. marinara on the noodles. Spread the mixture evenly on the noodles.

7.  Roll up the noodle carefully making sure not to squeeze too hard, so the ingredients do not come out of the sides.

8. Place in a pan with the seam side down. Continue to do the same with the rest of the noodles.

9. Ladle the rest of the sauce over the top of roll-ups. Then sprinkle with the mozzarella.

10. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 25-30 minutes or until everything is gooey.

 Mila Furman

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