Growing up, I really enjoyed lasagna (go figure). It’s a major comfort food for me for sure. I just loved the gooey ricotta cheese on mixed with the meat and noodles… not to mention the slightly crispy edges! Whenever my mom served lasagna for dinner, I would always take the end pieces. For having it so much in my childhood, you might be surprised that I never had a homemade lasagna. They were always the ones that were frozen and you just heat up in the oven. I didn’t feel deprived when I was a child; I just thought it was normal to not make lasagna from scratch. Who wants to spend the time to make it? It seems so laborious.
It wasn’t until high school when I found out parents actually do make lasagna from scratch. Not only did I discover this, but it was also when I discovered that you can freeze things that you cook for later! You must think I was a sheltered kid. Well, I might have been, but now I’m in my mid-twenties and I am fully aware of most things by now.
Now that I am starting to cook more of my own meals, I decided to take on lasagna. I first started off with some lasagna cups. Those were easy and already portioned, but it’s not your typical lasagna. I went searching for a somewhat more traditional one, and I came across Giada’s recipe for lasagna rolls. What intrigued me the most was that it was still portioned, but baked in a baking dish like a traditional lasagna would be baked.
I changed up a few things though, just to make the ingredients simple.
I used italian sausage instead of prosciutto because I’m just not that used to that ingredient yet; a bit too salty for my taste.
Mix mix mix the filling.
This was my first time working with lasagne noodles. Boiling them was not an easy task. I tried really hard to prevent them from sticking, so I layered them on a baking sheet. During the boiling process, some of my noodles broke on the edges. Luckily, those stay hidden underneath all the saucy goodness!
My favorite part was rolling them up.
Then put them in the baking dish once rolled tightly with filling. Once all of them are in the pan, pour on the marinara sauce. Now not all of my rolls fit into the baking dish, so I just put the leftover rolls in a muffin pan.
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Yum!
Cover with foil, and bake!
D- absolutely loves this lasagna! He says it’s his favorite kind of lasagna. I froze some in the freezer so we can have it whenever we’re craving it. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Recipe slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
makes 18 pieces
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 italian sausage, 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
18 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Mix the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, sausage, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain the noodles and 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 1 cup marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread a large spoonful (about 3 tablespoons worth) 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 onto the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture.
- Spoon the rest of the 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.