Sunday, February 22, 2009

Giada's Lasagna Rolls

So this is a picture of the leftovers, which don't look as appealing as the original, so you'll have to use your imagination.
Imagine you're hosting your church supper club, and you spent the afternoon leisurely preparing a double batch of these lasagna rolls while your amazing husband cleaned the house and put together a killer playlist. The candles are lit, and the conversation and the wine are flowing. The timer goes off, and you pull out two trays of delicious lasagna rolls. The bechamel sauce is bubbling, and the cheese on top is perfectly browned.

Then, 10 minutes later, you all tuck into your plates overflowing with lasagna rolls, mixed green salad with feta and blueberries (courtesy of a supper club member), and focaccia. The blend of noodle and stuffing with the marinara and bechamel sauce mingles perfectly. And it looks so elegant, these little mini-lasagnas. Everyone compliments you, and you have plenty of leftovers.

I had these on my to-make list for a little while and was waiting for the perfect opportunity. I'm now convinced that this is the perfect supper club entree. Because everything was prepped before my guests arrived, all I had to do was pop the trays in the oven. And it looks so nice without requiring a ton of effort or fancy ingredients. I omitted the prosciutto because we had a vegetarian in our group, and I honestly didn't miss it. These lasagna rolls are not really a weekday meal because they require quite a few steps, but for a weekend or having company over, they're perfect!

Giada's Lasgna Rolls
source: Food Network

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)


To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes.
Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes.
Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl

Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish.

Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle.

Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll.

Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamelsauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture.

Spoon 1 cup marinara over rolls and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.