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Sunday, March 27, 2016

LASAGNA ROLL UPS

Generally, when I cook for large crowds I always cook too much.   And, when that meal is lasagna it never fails, I always end up with leftover lasagna noodles.   Those noodles stay in the cupboard FOREVER, because why would I throw away perfectly good lasagna noodles?    Sound familiar?   Well, I finally decided to try a recipe for lasagna roll-ups.  It seemed like a great way to enjoy the flavors of lasagna for just the two of us, without all the fuss a great lasagna can take.

I'm so glad that I did.  This was truly a wonderful dish!
I chose a veggie version, and then added browned Italian sausage to my sauce for a little zip.....

This recipe makes 8 roll-ups.

INGREDIENTS:

Filling
1 ½ cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of excess liquid
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

Sauce
your favorite spaghetti sauce (I chose a flavor with added mushrooms)
1 lb. browned Italian sausage, cut into bite size pieces (optional)


DIRECTIONS:

Brown Italian sausage.  Cool and cut into bite size pieces.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook 8 lasagna noodles approximately 5-6 minutes only.  Just enough to soften the noodles to make them pliable to roll.  They will continue to cook once placed in the oven.   Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the filling ingredients, using only ½ cup of the mozzarella.  

Pour approximately 2/3 cup of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.  Set aside. 

To assemble, lay a lasagna noodle on a flat surface (I used a cookie sheet).  Use ¼ cup of filling for each noodle.  Use the back of a spoon to gently press the mixture into a thin, even layer across the entire noodle.  Gently roll up the noodle from one end to the other.  Be careful not to press too hard.

Place the noodles seam side down, repeat until all the noodles are filled, rolled and in the pan.  Cover each noodle with a fair amount of sauce.  Sprinkle the entire dish with the leftover mozzarella.  

Loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.  Garnish with parmesan cheese.

This was the perfect amount for two meals.  I took the leftover four roll-ups and placed them in a freezer safe container for an easy dinner some time in the future.

Enjoy!

adapted from:  www.foodiecrush.com

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