Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ricotta, Spinach, and Prosciutto Lasagna Rolls

The Pit and I had a little dinner party last, and I made these Lasagna Rolls, which everyone seemed to enjoy. They were a little bit of a hassle, but not as much as real lasagna, and the results were worth it. I don't even normally eat prosciutto, but thought that it really worked in this recipe. The following picture was stolen from the Food Network site, and thus is a much more appetizing-looking version than the one I took:

I made a few small changes to the recipe, doubling the sauce and using fresh spinach instead of frozen.

What you'll need for 12 rolls, or about 4-6 servings (2 rolls is just about a perfect portion, unless you've skipped lunch, in which case 3 is the way to go).
  • 1 15 oz container of ricotta (whole milk or part skim, it doesn't matter)
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 bag of fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 3 oz of thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
B├ęchamel Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 teaspoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
  • 2 pinches ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Noodles & Topping:
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt for noodle water
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (I like to use Francesco Rinaldi sauce, it's good and is usually on sale at the grocery store)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1) Mix together the ricotta, shredded parmesan, spinach, prosciutto, egg, salt and pepper, like so:

2) Set out a large pot of water to boil the noodles. Salt the water and add a tablespoon of oil, so that the noodles don't stick together during cooking. While the noodle water heats up and the noodles cook, make the B├ęchamel sauce.

3) Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Add the milk, turn the heat up to medium-high, and continuously whisk until the sauce is thick, smooth, and simmering. This may take 3 minutes if you used whole milk, or longer with 2 boils over really fast if you stop whisking, so pay attention. While you whisk, keep an eye on the noodles, and stir them occasionally. When the sauce is the desired consistency, whisk in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

4) The noodles and the sauce should be done at about the same time. Pour the sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, and drain the noodles.

5) Preheat the oven to 450°F.

6) On a cutting board, lay out the noodles 3 at a time, and spoon some filling on each one, as pictured below.

7) Roll the noodles and place them seam side down in the sauce in the baking dish.

8) After the noodles are all placed in the dish, spoon half the marinara sauce over them, and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.

9) Cover the dish tightly with foil, and bake for 20 minutes, until the sauce is hot and bubbling. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the cheese on top is golden. If desired, broil for a few minutes to finish it off. I may have overdone the broiling slightly here, but they were delicious nonetheless.

10) The rolls come out very hot, so I would let them stand for another 10 minutes to cool down a little. Then serve with the remaining marinara sauce to spoon over the top.


  1. I can't believe you eat prosciutto. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria.

  2. this looks tasty. too bad our little urban family has kinda dissolved without you... *sniffle*

  3. Aw, I miss cooking for you guys. I actually made a few of these rolls vegetarian last time, and they taste good that way too.

  4. This seems of equal difficulty as actually making a lasagna. Or am I missing something? Though this way you can make a couple of vegetarian options for the freaks out there.

  5. Okay, I'll confess that I've never actually made a real lasagna, so it's possible that the work involved is about the same. I do like the individual portion aspect of this versus one big dish...I think it makes it easier to fiddle either with the ingredients like you said, or with the actual number of rolls made.

  6. I have made this recipe before too, and found it super delicious. I was especially impressed with the richness of the bechamel, considering its ingredients. It is good with the italian (sparkling, with basil simple syrup) lemonade: