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Lasagna Rollups

Ingredients

Tomato Sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion diced

28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

3 garlic cloves minced

3 teaspoons dried basil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

12 lasagna noodles

Filling: 

10 ounce package of frozen spinach thawed

15 ounces ricotta cheese

2 and ½ cups mozzarella cheese shredded

⅔ cup parmesan cheese shredded

1 large egg

Instructions:

Begin by heating your olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and saute until the onions are translucent. Stir in crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, and dried parsley. Cover with a lid and allow the sauce to simmer for at least 20 minutes over low-to-medium heat. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the lasagna noodles according to the directions on the package. Once the noodles are done, drain water and allow noodles to cool. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare the filling by mixing together the spinach, ricotta cheese, 1 and one half cups of mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and an egg. Set aside. Once the noodles are cool to the touch, lay noodles down on parchment paper or wax paper on a smooth surface.

Spread about ¼ cup of the filling evenly along the length of each noodle. Once you’ve covered each noodle, begin rolling them to its opposite end. Pour 1 cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Place lasagna roll-ups into the baking dish and add the remaining tomato sauce on top of each roll-up. Place the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Commentary:

Italian food has always been my favorite to cook but this recipe gives a little twist on my favorite classic dish. I mean, who doesn’t love lasagna – pasta, sauce, cheese, more cheese, sprinkle some more cheese on top! Talk about comfort food. Italian pasta dishes also can be changed to suit your taste. For you meat lovers, add some spicy Italian sausage to the tomato sauce and you’ve got it made! You can also substitute the frozen spinach for fresh spinach. If you are using frozen (thawed) spinach, it’s important to not get rid of all of the water in the spinach. This allows the filling mixture to be moist inside the roll-ups.

This recipe takes about 45 minutes to prepare and cook and serves 8 people. The roll-ups also make it very easy to store and heat up the next day. 

Since the lasagna is already a filling dish on its own, it would be nice to pair it with something light and fresh. I recommend pairing it with salad greens topped with cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, fresh dill, and feta cheese along with your favorite vinaigrette dressing. Also, season your salad with freshly ground pepper for a nice little kick.  This provides a healthy balance to the heaviness of the pasta. 

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