Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lasagna Rolls

Yesterday I told you how we make an American Holiday Italian-American by serving an Antipasto course. Not only do we do that but we also have a pasta course. My mom has been trying to cut one of these out for years but I won't have it. They are traditions that I love. Believe me, I understand that it's a lot of food but we all love the leftovers and now that I'm older and help with the cooking it's not too much work for one person (my mother). I originally was going to make homemade manicotti but my mom didn't want it. So sort of at the last minute I decided to make this lasagna rolls which is more portion controlled than lasagna and less work than manicotti but essentially, it's the same thing. It makes a lot and I have a nice tray in my fridge for during the week and another small one in my freezer.

Lasagna Rolls


2 packages of lasagna sheets (NOT the no boil) (you will have some leftover)
6 pounds part skim ricotta (usually comes in 3lb containers)
2 pounds shredded or cubed mozzarella
2 large eggs, beaten
fresh parsley
romano cheese
Prepared Meat Sauce - use 3 cans crushed tomatoes


1.  Cook lasagna sheets in boiling salted water with a drizzle of oil, according to box directions.  This is the ONLY time you should add oil to your pasta water.  These sheets tend to stick and the oil helps to keep them seperated. 

2.  Mix ricotta, romano cheese, pepper and parsley.  Taste and add more romano if needed.  The amount of cheese depends on how salty and strong you  like it.  Add eggs and combine with cheese misture.

3.  In a large casserole pan add enough sauce to cover the bottom.  This keeps the lasagna moist and prevents sticking.  On a large flat surface place a couple of cooked lasagna sheets. Spread some of the ricotta mixture, top with some mozzarella and a spoonful of meat sauce.  Roll and put into the casserole dish. 

4.  Cover with sauce and more mozzarella.   You can freeze now for later use or bake at 350 for 30 minutes to heat through and melt the mozzarella. 

This makes two large casserole dishes.  I used an aluminum pan because I didn't have anything big enough.  It made about 36 rolls.  If you have leftover lasagna sheets (which I did) you can tear them or cut them and toss with sauce.  It's like eating pappardelle, sort of.  Otherwise, make 1 1/2 boxes instead of two. 

I am asking you in advance to forgive my sloppy picture below ( I am not a professional cook or photographer).  I made the mistake of first rolling the sheets in sauce...too messy and completely  unnecessary. 
Meat Sauce


2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef
6-7 basil leaves (or 2 frozen cubes)
salt and pepper
garlic powder
Mrs. Dash
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp sugar

Brown ground beef in about 1 Tbsp of oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Mrs. Dash, salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Use a potato masher or wooden spoon to break up the meat so you don't have any large chunks. Drain oil from meat and set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in EVOO. Return meat to pot and add tomatoes. Swish water in the cans and add about ½ can of water or as needed so it’s not too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add basil. Let cook for ½ hour, stirring occasionally so sauce does not burn. Taste again for seasoning. Add 1 tsp of sugar or a little more if needed. Allow sauce to cook for ½ hour more and taste again.


Spryte said...

I LOVE making lasagna rolls!! They're so nice to freeze in individual servings!

Carolyn said...

About a month or so ago I made something very similar!! I had made a small lasagna and tried to think about what to do with the extra noodles I cooked....so I made "mini lasagnas" like you. Steve loved them, cause it was portion controlled and was easy to eat at work. Yours look better then mine - a few didn't roll so well! ;-)

Bridgett said...

I can almost smell those from here. Perfect comfort food for me!

Giovanna said...

I love these but haven't made them in a while. Thanks for reminding me about these! : )
Yours look delish!!

Patti T. said...

I have always wanted to try this. I hope you know that people learn something new from you all the time, today I learned it is okay to put oil in the water with lasagna noodles, I never do because I was taught it would make the sauce slip right off of whatever pasta you were using. I am definitely doing this next time with lasagna noodles, mine always start sticking together before I am done with them. Thank you for teaching an old dog new tricks.

Christine said...

I love lasagna rolls! I have never made a traditional kind like this. Rachel Ray has a recipe with spinach and a gorgonzola cheese sauce, it is super yummy, you should look it up. I add Italian sausage to mine when I make it otherwise my husband would ask "where is the meat"! Can't wait to try.

Bob said...

Oooo, that looks good. Now that's something I could make and freeze in single meal portions to satisfy my lasagna cravings. Great idea!

Michele said...

Thank you all for the nice comments. It really makes me happy and I appreciate it!

Patti - Thank you! I needed that today! Just a reminder - only use the oil for the lasagna sheets not for any other pasta.

Christine - That sounds incredible. I'm going to look for them! Oh and my bf would ask for th meat too!

Carolyn - I'm sure yours were beautiful and if they weren't just put a little extra sauce on top and no one will know! :-)

Spryte - now why didn't I think of that! Definitely doing that next time!!!

FYI - Something has been up with blogger's comment section the past few days. It keeps asking me to publish comments that I already published and just now only 6 published when there was 7. Sorry, don't think I deleted your comment if it was yours. I don't know what's going on!

The Blonde Duck said...

You know, I think those would be better for me and Ben than lasagna! I love lasanga, but with two people, it's hard to make it even when you freeze it!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Michele your Mom is so lucky to have you help her cook for the holidays! My daughter has no interest. My son loves to cook, however, so if he is visiting it's wonderful.

Your lasagna rolls look delicious! There is always room for a couple of those at a holiday meal :-)..and leftovers are a good thing!

Amanda said...

Looks wonderful! I just posted something last week using the no boil lasagna noodles instead of manicotti, it was so delicious!

Michele said...

Pat - I think my mom is slowly handing all the holiday stuff over to me and my sister!

Amanda - I'm pretty sure I saw that! I'm going to look again!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I understand your mom's position - I gave up the pasta first course a while ago, but I do miss it. Great that you help out.

Lynda said...

I have to make these; my son is moving out and this dish would be perfect to make and share with him! I can freeze some for him and some for my husband and I. We all love lasagna, so this will be a keeper-thanks!

Jen_from_NJ said...

These look and sound so delicious! I love the idea of lasagna rolls - nice individual servings. Thanks for sharing!

Maria said...

Oh my... I forgot I used to make these!
Thanks for the reminder!
...just in time for Christmas :)
That's what I'll bring to my brother's!!!

matt74 said...

Michele first off..love the dish and I also looked at your sauce..low and behold I make mine almost exactly like yours..I have a pot on the stove right now for stuffed shells..once again your blog rocks!

Lucy said...

We love lasagna rolls here too, but I haven't made them in sometime... thanks for the reminder!

girlichef said...

I think they look delicious...and they're one of my favorite comfort meals. (along w/ most pasta, buy...) :D

Cathy said...

Another yummy thing to make! I like the idea of freezing them. They would make a nice lunch to take to work. Oh, and your pictures turned out fine.

Culinary Alchemist said...

Love them... Awesome job! Are their any left? I could use 1 or 2 right now... ;)

Danielle said...

The first time I heard about lasagna rolls was from my sister a couple of months ago. I love the idea!! I need to make some. they look soooo good

Theresa said...

These are great and much easier to make. I need to put this on the menu.

Debbie said...

Looks delicious! I love lasagna and just have to try these rolls!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This looks great! :) Love the picture of you with the huge tray!

When my grandparents were alive we used to have homemade ravioli every year - so this year we brought that tradition back as well!

Nicole Marie said...

wow this looks amazing!! i love your blog i'm learning to cook so these recipes will be fun to try out!!

teresa said...

oh my gosh, i love this! i bet they're a blast to make too!

Big Dude said...

Made your chicken cacciatore today and really liked it.

Michele said...

Miranda - you are totally right! I have the same problem.

Thank you Bob!

Matt - that's so sweet! I'll have to check out your sauce recipe.

Your welcome Jen and Maria!

Lynda - I hope he likes them!

Lucy - Don't you just love blogging? We're always giving each other ideas.

Girli- I would chose pasta over most anything!

Shane - Nope but I think i'll double the batch next time and do the individual servings everyone mentioned.

Thanks Theresa, Dani, Deb, Jenn, and Teresa! You all say such nice things!

Big Dude - I'm so glad! Thanks for letting me know!

Nicole Marie - That's wonderful. Email me with any questions you have. If there's something you'd like to see here let me know and I'll see what I can do!

Cristie said...

What a darling blog! I love your name and the food looks delicioius!

Michele said...

Thank you Cristie! I'm glad you like it!

erik said...

I like lasagna rolls! I always make some whenever I have the time but I had never experienced making those traditional ones. Thanks for the recipe!
dining room furniture

dancingaroundthekitchen said...

We always have a pasta course too and people say it is too much food but no one complains about the leftovers! My mom loves making homemade manciotti but this year we made butternut squash lasagna. Your lasagna rolls look delish!

Grace said...

i'm a HUGE lasagna fan, and this is such a unique and elegant way to serve it up. totally worth a little added effort. :)

Nanny'76 said...

What a nice compliment, it must be very good^_^ ^_^

Cate said...

Looks delicious! I made Giada's version a few years ago, but haven't since. Not sure why, since they were so good, but now you've inspired me.

regina di roma said...

Sounds yummy. And MUCH easier than the homemade tortellini we have been making for decades now...the holidays can get so tiring!

pigpigscorner said...

This spells comfort food! Looks so delicious.

joe@italyville.com said...

never seen these... very nice! I may have to try these.

Kathy said...

I add a pinch or two of nutmeg also. Oh, so tasty! Keep your wonderful recipes coming! I'm Italian too and always have American and Italian foods at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Rosabela said...

I LOVE THIS RECIPE! We used to serve pasta as a first course before the turkey and all the trimmings. Ever since I moved to Germany I don't serve pasta first anymore - just way too much food for my husband and his family. But I think I will serve some sort of pasta dish this holiday season. This sounds very traditional Italian!