Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pesto Lasagna Roll Ups

This recipe looks more daunting than it really is. It came together rather quickly and, considering my complete lack of experience in using lasagna noodles, they rolled up like a dream. I was so pleased with these, in fact, that when I make them again, I plan to make different varieties, adding chicken to some, leeks and mushrooms to others, substituting the spinach with thin slices of sautéed zucchini in others, and even experiment with swapping out the basil pesto with tomato pesto and adding Italian sausage and black olives. Imagine doing this yourself, making up a big batch with enough varieties to provide you with a dish for brunch, a ladies luncheon, or football food. How versatile is that? Did I mention that they freeze beautifully? Don’t be put off by the numerous steps. These are well worth making.
Pesto Lasagna Roll Ups
Adapted slightly from Two Peas and Their Pod

12 lasagna noodles

For the Béchamel Sauce:
5 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Kosher salt

For the Pesto Filling:
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 extra-large egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
10-ounces frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed to remove water
1/2 cu
p Melissa’s Basil Pesto
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Generous pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and cook the lasagna noodles to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and carefully lay the lasagna noodles out flat on a large piece of parchment paper or cooling rack. Let sit to cool.

To make the béchamel sauce, heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and foaming. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in milk, 1/2 cup at a time. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking frequently, until the sauce thickens and is the consistency of cream. This will take about 8-10 minutes. Season with nutmeg and salt, to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, garlic, spinach, pesto, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with 1/2 cup of the béchamel sauce.

Take about 1/4 cup of the ricotta spinach mixture and spread it evenly onto each lasagna noodle. Top each noodle with 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of béchamel sauce. Carefully roll the noodles up and place them in the prepared pan. Top the lasagna rolls with the remaining béchamel sauce and remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Spray a large sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted on top. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve warm.


thepaintedapron.com said...

Could you please move next door? We could share :) This looks amazing...

martinealison said...

Bonjour chère amie,

Miam-miam !... J'adore ! Je vous fais de gros bisous de Portland... où actuellement se déroule mon exposition de peinture.

A bientôt,
Gros bisous

Culinary Envy said...

Yum, this looks absolutely delicious. Perfect for the Fall weather.

Stacey said...

Adding to my list. I have a private Pinterest board called On the Menu and I'm pinning away. :)