Easy but fancy lasagna rolls
I assembled this whole recipe and then realized I left the box of spinach in the microwave…urg. I was defrosting it in the microwave and forgot it was hidden away. I actually assembled the dish sans spinach on a Saturday afternoon and ran off to some other activities planning to come home and bake it for supper. About an hour later I was at a meeting doing something completely different and remembered the spinach was still in the microwave. When I arrived home I set the the oven to preheat. I squeezed out the water and tucked little bundles of spinach into the lasagna rolls dripping some of it all around the pan. No worries, after it baked, no one would have known except we all got a laugh about the story over a really good Italian supper. Do you have a recipe recovery story to share?
Recipe: Florentine Lasagna Rolls
Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Inactive Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 50 Minutes | Yield: 6 Servings | Level: Easy
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 4 tsp flour
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- pinch fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 16-oz ricotta cheese
- 1 10-oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 thick slices crispy bacon, diced
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2 Add olive oil and 1 Tbsp salt to a large pot of boiling water then slide in the lasagna noodles. Cook until just tender but still firm. Drain.
3 In the meantime, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan on medium-low heat and then whisk in the flour. Slowly whisk in the milk and then increase the heat to medium-high.
4 Continue stirring until it begins to boil and thicken and has a smooth finish. Add the 1/2 tsp salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread evenly.
5 In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, 1 cup parmesan cheese, bacon, egg, salt and pepper.
6 On a work surface, lay out a lasagna noodle and place 3 Tbsp of the cheese mixture on one end and roll up. Place in the 9 x 13 dish seam side down and repeat until all 12 are lined up on top of the béchamel. If you have some extra cheese mixture dab it in the cracks between the rolls.
7 Spoon the marinara over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and then 1/4 cup parmesan.
8 Cover with foil and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 minutes more until the top becomes golden and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Keep small packages of thick sliced bacon in the freezer, 2 slices per pack so I can have bacon at my fingertips. For a vegetarian dish, omit the bacon.
Make this dish lasagna style. Pour the béchamel on the bottom, then layer lasagna noodles with cheese mixture and top with marinara. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan.
- Exchange ricotta for cottage cheese.
- Use a homemade or bottled marinara sauce.
- Exchange mozzarella for Monterrey Jack cheese.
- Omit bacon for vegetarian dish.
Inspiration – Giada De Laurentiis
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 18, 2012