Lasagna is one of my favorite dinners, especially in the colder months. While lasagna tastes great and is a great meal to serve for a large family, it’s time consuming to put together. Lasagna roll ups are a bit easier to handle and have all the same flavors as your traditional lasagna, without as much fuss. Combining all the filling ingredients instead of having to layer them saves quite a bit of time in this family favorite.
I promised that I would share my Bailey’s Friendsgiving menu with you, and these roll ups were the main course. I already shared the appetizers, which were a chopped salad and this delicious bruschetta. Later I’ll share with you an amazing Bailey’s Tiramisu Parfait I created! Yum!
This first set of a pictures is simply a tip. Whenever your recipe called for chopped or minced garlic, don’t wrestle with trying to peel the skins off. Simply lay your knife down flat on top of the garlic clove, hit it a couple of times with the heel of your hand, then lift the skin right off and get to mincing!
First you’ll brown and drain your ground beef. Then to get your sauce ready, saute the garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil and add the canned tomatoes, basil, oregano and fennel seeds. While that’s simmering mix together the ricotta, egg, parsley and salt. Add your cheeses then combine with the drained meat.
Add a cup of cooled sauce to the ricotta/meat mixture and your filling is ready. After preparing your noodles in a quick flash boil, add the filling to the noodles and spread out, leaving a little room at the end.
Roll them up, then place them in a sauce lined pan, seam side down. Cover with sauce, then foil, then bake. Remove foil, top with cheese and broil it to brown the cheese. Yum!
I also recorded a video of the process where I share several talking tips as well. Just click play below to watch :)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef and Italian sausage together. Drain and set aside to cool.
Over medium heat, saute the garlic and red pepper flakes in the olive oil just until soft. Add both cans of tomatoes, basil, oregano and fennel seeds. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not over cook and dry out the sauce. Remove from heat.
To make the filling, in a large bowl mix the Ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, and salt together. Add in 2 cups of the Mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Mix the drained and cooled meat into the Ricotta cheese mixture. Add 1 cup of the cooled sauce.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile line work surface with a clean kitchen towel. Add 3-4 noodles to the water at a time. Using tongs, remove noodles after 30 SECONDS (just long enough to soften them and make them pliable) and lay them on the kitchen towel. Continue until all noodles are ready.
Turn water off and carefully pour some of the boiled water into a bowl. Keep near your work surface to dip noodles in if they are not pliable enough to roll.
Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce into a 13×9 baking dish.
Spread a heaping 1/3 cup of filling mixture onto bottom 3/4 of each noodle, leaving top 1/4 of noodle uncovered. Starting from the end with cheese, roll into the noodle into a tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down.
Top evenly with remaining sauce, covering each noodle completely.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack until the sauce bubbles, about 40 minutes.
Remove roll ups from the oven and adjust the oven rack to the highest position. It should be about 6 inches from the heating element. Sprinkle remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan mixture evenly over each individual roll up. Do not replace the foil. Broil until cheese starts to brown (watch carefully, only a minute or so!). Cool 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the roll ups to set.
Notes from Amanda
This recipe can be prepared ahead, using a disposable lasagna foil pan is best. Where the instructions state to cover the pan with aluminum foil, cover with a sheet of parchment paper instead. Wrap pan in aluminum foil, and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (If frozen, thaw the roll ups in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.) To bake, remove the parchment, replace with aluminum foil, and increase baking time to 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
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