Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Roll Away

I had to travel out of town this week for work and I couldn't stand the thought of Forrest eating frozen pizzas for 5 days straight. Ok, the real truth is that Forrest couldn't stand the thought of Forrest eating frozen pizzas for a week long so he asked me to cook him a lasagna or "something" before I left. Since I already had one of my guest bloggers blog lasagna before I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of regular lasagna I made lasagna rolls filled with spinach and prosciutto instead of classic lasagna ingredients. Forrest said he ate it every day for lunch and dinner and never tired of his special meal (he is so easy to please)!

Lasagna Rolls
Recipe Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes.

Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes.

Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl

to blend.

Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish.

Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle.

Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle

like a jelly roll.

Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamelsauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture.

Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella

and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls.

Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.

This meal is amazing. The flavor of the melded bechemel and the marinara sauce after baking is to die for! The individual rolls are really easy to serve. I think this meal would be awesome for a dinner party because it is somewhat of a fancy twist on a classic dish and it would be easy to make ahead and pop in the oven right before your guests arrive.


Gabriela said...

I'd been wondering where you'd been all week...welcome back. Your rolls are beautifully rolled. They look downright elegant, ahem, and delicious too. I think I'll have my DH fix these for me.

Cheryl said...

I dont know how I missed this one, I most certainly want to make it, maybe next time we have dinner guests!

Jenny said...

I made these in July and they were fantastic. The pictures are making me feel like I need to make them again and soon.

Stacey T said...

I am going to have to try these. I have made Giada's classic lasagna several times, but it is pretty involved...this looks less fussy and yummy.