Sorry for the lack of posts, but this past weekend was moving weekend. My parents came up to help me haul everything up to my new third floor apartment, and helped me clean it top to bottom. And they even drove all over creation in search of the “perfect” furniture courtesy of craig’s list. What better parents could I ask for? So, now that I am settled into my new apartment, I have been cooking (and grilling) up a storm, testing out my new kitchen.
I have an adorable 1950’s oven, which needed some serious tlc to get it into cooking shape. Seriously, I had my brother Google “1950’s oven” when I was explaining it and the first image looked exactly like my “new” oven. After a thorough scrub down by my Dad, it was basically begging to be used. So, use it I did.
I made lasagna roll ups… they are basically individual lasagnas. You boil up some lasagna noodles, fill with ricotta cheese and veggies and bake in the oven until the cheese is melty and bubbly and the roll-up is warmed through.
Lasagna Roll Ups
6 dried, packaged lasagna noodles, I used whole wheat. The fresh variety can’t hold up to the rolling
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1/2-3/4 cup of frozen cut spinach (if so ambitious, you and wilt up your own fresh spinach, but frozen is so cheap)
2 teaspoons of whisked egg (I used egg beaters)
1/2 a zucchini cut into quarter inch slice, then each slice cut into quarters (triangles)
6-8 asparagus stalks cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2-1 cup of sauce (more or less depending on how much sauce you like on pasta)
cheese (I only had parmigiana, but mozzarella, gouda, feta, or any good melty cheese would work)
Preheat the oven to 350. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta as per the package directions, but cook for about 1-2 mins less than the directions say, so they don’t get soggy in the oven. Mine were supposed to cook for 10 mins, and I took them out after 8. With one minute left for the pasta to cook, throw in the asparagus and zucchini to blanch them and cut down on the cooking time in the oven.
While the pasta cooks, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg and spinach in a mixing bowl. Also line your pan ( I used a 9×9 pan) with aluminum foil to make for easy clean up. Then spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into the bottom of the lined pan and spread it around evenly. This helps prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once the pasta is done drain it in a colandar, rinse cool water over it for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Then I set up a little assembly line.
Lay a noodle out on a flat surface ( I used a cutting board), spoon about a quarter cup of the ricotta mixture onto the noodle and spread it out into an even layer, leaving about one inch of noodle uncovered at the end. Place a handful of the zucchini and asparagus on top of the cheese, and press them into the cheese gently.
Then carefully roll up the noodle, starting with the end that is covered in cheese, not the end you left free of cheese. Place it seam side down in the prepared pan. Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce over the top and sprinkle on the cheese. Bake for 20-30 mins or until the cheese is melted, and the inside is warmed through.
Let cool a bit and enjoy
** for you meat eaters or families with meat eaters, you can brown up some sausage, ground beef, ground turkey etc and add onto the noodle with veggies before you roll it up. Because these are individual lasagnas, it is easy to make some with meat and some without, but for the sake of the veg heads… put them in separate pans to prevent the meat juices from seeping into the veg-only roll-ups