I always try to make a super yummy meal for dinner on Friday evenings. Lots of people eat out on Fridays, but S and I are on a strict budget, so instead of spending money on eating out, we choose a meal we know we’ll really enjoy. Drum rollllll, please! On Friday we had Spinach-Ricotta Lasagna Rolls. One of our favorites for sure!
These rolls are super simple to make. They are a bit time-consuming, so just head to the kitchen with patience and a little extra love to give. Everything tastes better when made with love. Take it one step at a time and the meal will come together right before your eyes.
I made the spinach and ricotta mixture the night before since I knew I’d be getting home after 4 o’clock and would be starting this meal later than I would've liked. The next day, I boiled the lasagna noodles for 9 minutes instead of the recommended 10 minutes in order to avoid having the noodles fall apart during transfer. Once the noodles were cooked, I transferred them to a sheet of foil coated with non-stick spray (to prevent sticking). Then I spread some spinach-ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle, rolled them up, and placed them in a baking dish I’d already ladled sauce into.
On a different note, we received our first snow here in the DC area today. It’s just gorgeous! I love snow…as long as I’m indoors—preferably with a blanket, book, and cocoa in hand. Love watching the snow fall through the window. Next up this evening is freezing rain. Yikes! I know there is a winter storm making its way across the Midwest, so stay safe out there. Snow day tomorrow? ;o)
Spinach-Ricotta Lasagna Rolls
Yields 6-8 servings as a main dish
30 oz. ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese—divided use
16 oz. frozen spinach—thawed according to package directions
¼ to ½ tsp. salt
1 egg—lightly beaten
1 box (16 oz.) lasagna noodles
2 cloves garlic—minced
2 tsp. canola oil
32 oz. tomato sauce (I used my parents’ homemade sauce)
To a large bowl, add the ricotta, Parmesan, 2 cups of mozzarella, spinach, and salt and stir to mix well. Add the egg and mix well again. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. While the pasta water comes to a boil, mince the garlic. In a medium pot over medium heat, add the canola oil and minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Turn the heat to low, add the tomato sauce, stir, and cover with lid—let cook, stirring occasionally, until ready to use. Once the pasta water is boiling, add the lasagna noodles and boil for 9 minutes. While the noodles cook, lay out a few sheets of foil and coat them with non-stick spray. Gently remove each noodle with tongs (and a fork) and place them in a single layer on the foil.
Spray a 9x13 and 6x9 glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Ladle some tomato sauce into each baking dish—enough to cover the bottom completely. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spoon about 3 tbsp. of the spinach-ricotta mixture onto each noodle (do a few at a time) and spread evenly using a “fancy” butter knife (I found this to be easiest). After spreading the mixture, roll the noodle and place it seem-side down in the baking dish. Repeat until the noodles and mixture are gone. There is enough mixture for 20 noodles.
After filling and rolling all the noodles, ladle the remaining sauce over the noodles and sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese evenly over the noodles. Cover the dishes with foil (spray the foil with non-stick spray to prevent the foil from sticking to the cheese).
Bake for 40 minutes.
To brown the cheese topping, heat the broiler to 315 degrees. Remove the foil from the dishes and place the dishes under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the dishes as they can go from brown to burnt in seconds.
Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.