May 28, 2010
COOKING LOCAL Lasagna Rolls Florentine
8-10 lasagna noodles
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lg. garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, peeled and diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
1/2 pound or so fresh spinach leaves, rinsed well
1 c. Ricotta cheese
1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped Parsley, for garnish
Prepare lasagna noodles as per directions on package, and boil them until just al dente. Drain them and lay flat until we’re ready to use them. Heat a splash of oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat and saute half of the chopped onion and a pinch of the chopped garlic for 4 minutes or so, or until the onions are translucent. Stir frequently. Toss in the spinach and stir it just long enough so it wilts, which should only take a minute or two.
Scrape out the sautéed spinach into a bowl and allow it to cool off a bit. Drain off any excess water that may come out of the spinach as it cools. Next, combine the spinach, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, garlic and 1/2 the Mozzarella cheese. Mix it all together, then spread each cooked lasagna noodle with a heaping 1/4 cup or so of spinach and cheese mixture. Roll up firmly and place seam side down on the bottom of a greased, high walled baking pan.
Heat up the rest of the oil in the skillet on medium and sauté the remaining onions and garlic along with the diced pepper. Cook and stir until the onion are translucent and have lost their bite. Now add in the spaghetti sauce and the fresh chopped basil. Don’t be afraid to add oregano, a dash of red pepper flakes, or any other Italian type spices into the mix. A splash of red wine is always welcome, especially when used to clean out the sauce jar. OK, so just let this simmer on low for at least 10 minutes, and the longer the better.
And there we’ve souped up a storebought sauce in the simplest of ways. Ladle it generously over each of the spinach lasagna rolls and sprinkle over the rest of the Mozzarella. Bake in a preheated oven on 400 for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and they are heated all the way through. Garnish the lasagna rolls with fresh chopped parsley.