The first step in the recipe involved making a bechamel sauce, which I had never heard of, but came to find out, through watching Melissa D'Arabian on the Food Network, that it is similar to a rue. It has butter, flour and milk. Needless to say, with the butter element, it proved to be quite delicious.
As I was waiting for my bechamel sauce to thicken, I whipped together the ingredients for the filling of the lasagna rolls: a little spinach, a little ricotta, and some ground beef. The recipe called for prosciutto, but that frankly wasn't in the grocery budget last week.
A little more butter to grease up the pan, what's it gonna hurt, right?
After this, the bechamel sauce was done, easily I must say, and then placed into the bottom of the glass casserole dish.
Now, it was time for some rollin' rollin' rollin'. Note: I cooked the lasagna noodles, but did not document it here. Just remember it is not smart to cook large lasagna noodles in a small pot.
Once the filling was laid out and spread on the lasagna noodle, it was a breeze to roll them up.
Here are the rolls nestled into the glass pan.
And finally, here comes the good stuff: mozzarella and parmesan cheese, not to mention marinara sauce.
And there you have it folks, melted goodness. And it was delectable indeed! Put a little garlic bread on the side with a fresh salad, and who needs to go out to eat Italian? You can pull it off in your own kitchen. Yes sir!
The recipe for the Lasagna Rolls comes from the Italian master herself, Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network. Personally, I've never bonded with Giada on her show, (a little too much teeth for my taste) but she really won me over with this recipe. Check it out.
- 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 lasagnanoodles 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 bechamel sauce 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 smallsaucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.