The Roll With It Solution

The ability to create restaurant-style lasagna, piled high with layers upon layers of pasta, cheese, and sauce is easier to replicate in your own home that you might think. Instead of stacking massive amounts of ingredients on top of each other, try rolling up a single lasagna noodle with your favorite ingredients to avoid having a month worth of leftovers. Lasagna rolls have become very popular in home cuisine, as they don't come with the bulk, the mess, or the price of their layered counterpart. Additionally, they're a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen, and you can tailor each roll to your family's different taste. Kids don't like mushrooms? Dad doesn't like spinach? Mom hates garlic? Lasagna rolls offer a way to keep everyone satisfied without making separate dishes.

Below is my family's favorite recipe, but you can cater to your family's likes and dislikes by rolling up your traditional recipe. This technique works just as well with vegetarian varieties of lasagna. Try adding alfredo sauce or pesto instead of the meat sauce and fill the rolls with fresh tomatoes and basil!

Lasagna Rolls

  • 12-16 cooked lasagna noodles (avoid the ready-to-bake variety)
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 package frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (the processed variety will serve just as well as fresh, and cut down on your cost)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (you can make this yourself or purchase your favorite store brand for a quick alternative)

Like other lasagna recipes, the work needs to be divided into several steps.

  • Step One: Boil the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Once complete, shock them with cold water and lay on a paper towel to dry.
  • Step Two: Brown the ground beef and Italian sausage. Drain. Add in spaghetti sauce. Place ½ of the mixture in the bottom of your lasagna pan.
  • Step Three: Once the noodles are cooled down, tap them with a paper towel to remove any excess water (this will make the spreading process easier). Lay them on a piece of parchment paper. Mix together the ricotta cheese and egg. Spread on the noodle. Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella cheese on top of the ricotta, then a layer of parmesan cheese. Lay the spinach on top of the cheeses. (This is also where you can add in any other favorite ingredients.)
  • Step Four: Roll it up! Place the rolls in the lasagna pan. Make sure to place the end of the roll on the bottom of the pan to avoid it un-rolling during the cooking process. (Some recipes will have you add the sauce in before you roll the noodles up, but that makes things a bit messier.)
  • Step Five: Pour last ½ of the sauce/meat mixture on top of the rolls. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses for extra flavor. Cover with tinfoil and place in a preheated 350° oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the cheeses have melted.
  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

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