Thursday, February 24, 2011
Recipe Swap Thursday: Spinach Lasagne Rollups
Spinach Lasagne Rollups
My menu plan had "Lasagne" on the menu for February 21 (a statutory holiday where I live). Sunday night as I looked at the plan I realized I did not want heavy, overfilling lasagne. I wanted light and tasty and creamy. So I searched around for a while and decided to try these Creamy Lasagne Rolls. But looking at the recipe, it just looked blah and somewhat unappealing to me. But, I did decide I liked the idea of lasagne rolled up with a savory filling and a cream sauce... But what kind of cream sauce? I knew my Alfredo would be too heavy. I thought about adapting my sauce from the Mushroom Linguine recipe I use. But part of what makes that recipe so tasty is the ton of mushrooms and sauteed onions.
So I went back to basics and started thinking about the tried and true white sauce recipe I use from my grandmother's 1958 Edition of the Five Roses Flour Cookbook. This is a staple recipe in my kitchen and I use it as a basis for many dishes. So if I added some different seasonings, thinned it a bit more, it might just make a good pasta sauce. So, I set to work.
12 lasagne noodles, par-boiled
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1 package chopped spinach, drained and squeezed of water
1/2 orange pepper, finely diced
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
-Par boil lasagne noodles until firm but pliable (you'll need to fill and roll them up but too soft will cause them to tear)
-In a mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients until well blended. Reserve half cup of mozzarella cheese.
-Beginning filling noodles. Pat noodles dry and spread a nice layer of filling over the entire length of the noodle. Roll carefully and lay seam side down in a large casserole dish (I believe I used a 2 qt Corning Ware dish)
-Continue until all the filling and noodles are used.
-Set dish aside and make sauce.
3 tbsp butter or margarine
3 tbsp flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups milk
1/4 cup dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-Put margarine and flour in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Stir constantly for two minutes. Ensure the butter/flour mixture DOES NOT brown
-Add salt and pepper, stir well.
-Pour milk in slowly, stirring to combine and to prevent lumps. Once well combined, reduce heat a bit and add in basil.
-As the sauce starts to thicken, add cheese and stir to melt. Once melted, remove from heat and pour over roll-ups.
-Sprinkle reserved mozzarella cheese on top of roll-up and sauce mixture.
-Bake covered at 350 F for about 30 minutes, remove lid and continue to bake another 10 to 15 - broiling on low for last few minutes to brown cheese.
Note: After adding the sauce and cheese, I put mine in the fridge as I prepared it in the morning. It baked up just fine although we prefer our pasta a little saucier. Next time I make this, I will increase the sauce by a half recipe to make it creamier and saucier.