Like a lot of women, I enjoy cooking. I wish I had more time and energy to cook fancy meals throughout the week, but thanks to a hectic work schedule we stick to quick and easy healthy meals in our house on weeknights. On the weekends, however, I get to go all out. I like to cook a big casserole, stew, or pasta dish on Sundays – something that can easily be reheated on Monday night for leftovers. Because who likes to come home and have to cook dinner after a Monday at the office? Not this girl.
Again, like a lot of women, I have become
completely obsessed rather fond of Pinterest, and use it primarily for looking at geek humor and things I’ll never be able to afford to find cooking inspiration. What did we do before Pinterest?? Oh that’s right, I forgot for a second about those big bulky things called “cook books”. Any who, I have found a lot of great recipes that I plan to start sharing here on my blog, and I’ll start this week with one of me and my husband’s favorite dishes so far – Lasagna Roll Ups.
Lasagna Roll Ups – what a genius idea! This was originally pinned by Jaclyn at Cooking Classy and you can go to her post here for full cooking instructions and more great photos like the one above. I made this on a Sunday a few weeks ago and it turned out amazing. I’m always a little wary of trying out new recipes for the first time and never think they’ll turn out anything like the picture. 12 roll ups were more than enough for me and my hubby to have for dinner both Sunday and Monday – and there were even leftovers for me to take for lunch on Tuesday.
Here’s the recipe:
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (I’d recommend Contadina Brand)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (15 oz) container Ricotta Cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley (aka Italian Parsley, it’s about 1 small handful), chopped
- 2 1/4 cups freshly grated Mozzarella Cheese, divided
- 3/4 cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
- 1/3 cup freshly, finely grated Romano Cheese
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle one tablespoon olive oil into a large non-stick fry pan. Heat over medium high heat, crumble ground beef over oil, add chopped onions and cook mixture stirring occasionally and breaking up meat, until browned. Drain fat from beef. Pour beef mixture into a food processor and pulse for about 5 seconds until it is ground into fine pieces. Pour beef mixture back into fry pan and add crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, oregano and 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste then cover with a lid and simmer over low heat while preparing pasta and cheese mixture.
- Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water along with 1 tsp salt and 2 tablespoon olive oil to al dente according to directions listed on package. Once noodles are cooked, drain and immediately line noodles in a single layer on waxed paper or cookie sheets.
- Prepare cheese mixture (I do this while pasta is cooking) by stirring together Ricotta cheese, egg, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper with a fork in a large mixing bowl until well combine. Stir in chopped fresh parsley. Add in 1 3/4 cups grated Mozzarella Cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese and 1/3 cup Romano Cheese, stir mixture until well combine.
- Stir meat sauce and spread 1/3 cup evenly into a 13×9 inch baking dish by tilting pan back and forth. Spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto each cooked lasagna noodle, then spread 1 heaping tablespoon meat sauce along the top of cheese covered noodle. Roll noodles up jellyroll style and arrange seam side down in baking dish. Cover rolled noodles with remaining meat sauce (about a heaping 1/8 cup over each) then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese evenly over roll ups. Tent lasagna roll ups with foil (don’t allow foil to rest on cheese or it will stick you just want to loosely tent to prevent the cheese from browning) and bake for 35 minutes in preheated oven. Serve warm garnished with additional chopped fresh parsley.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
Instead of canned tomatoes I substituted one jar of Newman’s Own organic marinara sauce. It’s very important to grind your meat/onion mixture up so that it can be easily spread on to the noodles. I don’t have a fancy food processor – my electric food chopper did the job just fine for me. And be sure to not over-cook your noodles! You don’t want them to fall apart as you are getting them on the wax paper and rolling them up. Here’s how mine turned out. (I apologize for the crappy cell phone photos – next time I’ll do better I promise!)
The total prep time was about thirty minutes for me, with a little bit of a cleanup (this meal produces lots of dirty prep dishes). But once those suckers come out of the oven and you take your first bite, you’ll realize it was well worth the effort. We loved this meal and I have a feeling I’ll be making it for years to come. I hope you and your family enjoy it, too! Thanks, Cooking Classy!
Stay tuned for more weekend meals on the blog and quick and easy weeknight meals, also!
- Slow Cooker Lasagna (livingtoolarge.wordpress.com)