Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spicy Lasagna Roll-ups

This dish was invented when I was in the middle of making lasagna, and realized half way through I wanted to switch things up a bit... make it a more interesting and visually pleasing dish. I thought, how can I make this more interesting, using the ingredients I already have in front of me...?
Maybe its just the chopped champion inside of me, but I like to think I had a little stroke of genius... How about ROLL-UPS?
They have a little more whimsy then just a big square slice of lasagna on your plate and they look like a fancy restaurant quality dish.
So here we have it... Spicy Lasagna roll-ups!
With this recipe I am not specific on measurements because you can add more of each ingredient depending on your family size and it cant be messed up... I promise.

    I used 3 parts lean ground beef, 1 part Italian sausage.
    1/2 of a chopped yellow onion
Cottage cheese (with 2 dashes of dried basil)
Shredded pepper jack cheese, shredded cheddar cheese
Prego tomato sauce
6-8 lasagna noodles (add 2 extra noodles to however many you need, in case one splits apart)
Brown your ground beef and sausage together. Season the meat with salt, pepper and a dash of onion powder. Add them to a bowl and add enough tomato sauce to bind everything together.
Chop 1/2 of a yellow onion and sauté until translucent. Add to the tomato sauce mixture.
Put the cottage cheese (with a dash or two of dried basil OR chopped fresh basil if you have it) in a bowl.
Shred your pepper jack and cheddar cheese and add to another bowl.
 Boil lasagna noodles until al dente. (You don't want to over cook them or they will split while rolling) After done cooking, carefully put the noodles on a plate covered with a kitchen towel to soak up extra water.
Grease a 9x13 pan and set it by your "roll up station" :)

UPDATE: A friend of mine who tried this recipe mentioned to me a great idea. She thought that if you use a couple of quart sized zip locks and cut the corner off, filling one with the meat and the other with the cottage cheese mixture, it may be easier to "pipe" the sauces onto the noodles making for a more even portioned and quicker assembly.
Light bulb!
Next, add some of the meat mixture on top of the noodle. Keep it pretty light because if you have too much, it will become hard to roll up.
Next, the basil cottage cheese.

And last, the pepper jack and cheddar cheese...

Ready for some MESSY BUSINESS? I don't know a good chef who never got her hands dirty... so let's get to work. ROLL ROLL ROLL. Try to keep the noodle as tightly wound as you can and don't worry about a litte fillin' spillin' out the sides :) Just keep rolling, just keep rolling... tight as you possibly can!
Place the lasagna roll in the pan, making sure the seam is on the bottom so it can't come undone. Place it against the edge of the pan, until you have a few more rolls to lean it up against.

  Keep rolling those little babes up until you have used all of your filling and noodles. I set each roll up against the edges of the pan, until I had enough to scoot them together and lean on each other to prevent un-rolling. Once you have them all together, sprinkle extra cheese on top.



Cover the roll ups with tin foil while baking so that the noodles don't re-harden.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees and bake them for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is bubbly and lightly brown on top... MMMMmmmmm yummy


 I like to plan on 2 for each adult.
Aren't they darling? TASTY TOO!

GLUTEN FREE VERSION: Everything can be made the same, just exchange the noodles for gluten free lasagna noodles!

Note: The Italian Sausage and the pepper jack cheese are what make this dish a little on the "spicy" side. We love a little spice at our house BUT, if you want to make a more mild version for your family, replace the pepper jack cheese for all cheddar cheese, and replace the Italian sausage with lean ground beef. Still really tasty :)
Enjoy this recipe and I hope you feel inspired to try new things!
Happy experimenting!

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic idea! I tried it tonight and all of my room mates loved it and it tasted delicious. I couldn't get mine to roll quite as well as yours though. Everything was perfectly portioned as well. Thanks for the great idea and recipe!


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