I was in the mood for heavy Italian recently (but then again, when am I not?) and decided to make up some lasagna rolls again. I found a recipe from the only skinny cook I’ve ever seen, Giada De Laurentiis, via foodnetwork.com.
Unlike my previous batch, these are not vegetarian, they have yummy prosciutto mixed in to the filling.
This recipe basically consists of a Béchamel (white) sauce like I made for my soufflé’s, filled lasagna noodles, and store-bought marinara. I’ve never used Béchamel in a lasagna, and was a little confused as to its purpose here. I couldn’t really taste it in the final product, so it may be a valid calorie-saver to just leave it out. I’d suggest still covering the bottom of the pan with marinara so the lasagna doesn’t stick. Giada, like Ina and her Lobstermac recipe, also oils her pasta water. I still decided against it and felt my lasagna noodles were slippery enough, but it’s totally up to you.
I halved this recipe to make only 6 lasagna rolls, and made half of them without spinach for my chlorophyll-phobe boyfriend. I have to admit though, the spinachless rolls did end up tasting cheesier, and the taste of the prosciutto was more pronounced. Speaking of the prosciutto, I’m thinking next time I’ll maybe try substituting cooked pancetta to get more flavor and texture in the filling.
P.S. My rolls have orange cheese on top because somehow I forgot to pick up shredded mozzarella and had to use sharp cheddar instead.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time: min
Inactive Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 50 min
Serves: 6 servings
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.