My kids asked for lasagna to make it onto the menu this week, and since it’s spring break, I obliged. The caveat is that they had to help. Unfortunately, my older daughter wasn’t feeling to well so she couldn’t help and my younger daughter helps on her own time, in her own way. I tried to convince them to do a simple cheese lasagna, but they insisted that sausage should be added. They could eat sausage every day of the week if they were allowed. I try to provide a more balanced menu.
I found this recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis for lasagna rolls and thought that it seemed pretty simple and tasty and decided to give it a try. My instinct told that these rolls didn’t need an entire lasagna noodle each and that the 35 minutes at 450 degrees seemed a little excessive.
2 cups marinara sauce
1 container ricotta (15 ounces – I used fat free, but you can use whole milk or part skim as you like)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)
8 ounces sausage, browned and crumbled
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon parsley
18 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Cook lasagna noodles in large pot of boiling water with salt and olive oil. Cook for the minimum time per the directions on the specific brand of lasagna noodles your using. Drain and set aside. Laying the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet prevents them from sticking
2. Brown sausage meat, breaking into crumbles as it cooks. Drain on a paper towel and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
3. Mix together ricotta, parmesan, parsley, egg. Mix in crumbled sausage. Add salt and pepper to taste. (I ended up doing this halfway through my preparation, but I would recommend doing this from the beginning)
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
4. Cover bottom of casserole (13 x 9) dish with 1 cup marinara sauce
5. Lay out lasagna noodle on a work surface, then spread a large spoonful (about 3 tablespoons worth) of ricotta mixture on it. Roll like a jelly roll and lay the lasagna rolls seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat until the casserole dish is full and ricotta mixture has been used
6. Spoon marinara sauce over top of rolls and sprinkle with the mozzarella and remaining parmesan cheeses
7. Bake covered at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Serve it with a little extra sauce and parmesan cheese.
They seemed to have been enjoyed, however the one complaint is that they were hard on top. When I talked to my dad about it, he said that this had always been a running discussion between my mom and him…to bake at a high temperature and get the cheese nice and crusty or bake at a lower temperature for a longer time period. I realized when I was writing this that I didn’t spread the cheese over the entire noodle as the original recipe said. Next time I will definitely do this. I think I will also lower the temperature.