Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lasagna Rolls

I originally made this in Winter 2008, and DB and I just fell in love with this dish. It's a great, easy recipe that is both gooey and delicious. This would also be a perfect dish to entertain guests, as everyone can get their own individual rolls- easier to serve, and easier for others to serve themselves. We really enjoyed the contrast of tastes of the bechamel (white) sauce on the bottom and the marinara sauce on top. It provided creamy, mild, yet rich flavors simultaneously. Giada's original recipe can be found here, but I've modified some steps & ingredients, and my changes are listed below. I LOVE Italian food, and in my opinion, this recipe beats any traditional lasagna. (While the instructions are for lasagna rolls, this can easily be made into the traditional "stacked" lasagna.) Bon appetito!

Ingredients:
Bechamel sauce
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2-3 cups whole milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Lasagna Rolls
1-1/4 lb ground turkey (93/7)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim milk ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 2 Tbsp
3/4 tsp salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
9-10 uncooked lasagna noodles (Used 100% whole wheat)
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)

Directions:
To make the Bechamel sauce:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.

3. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

To make the Lasagna Rolls:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. In a large saute pan, brown the ground turkey, seasoning with salt & pepper. Mid-way through cooking, add the onions and garlic. Saute until turkey is cooked through, and onions are tender. Drain any fat.

3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly.
4. Add the ground turkey mixture, ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Mix to blend.
5. Add 1-2 Tbsp of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain.
6. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

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

8. Lay out 1 lasagna noodle 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 bechamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture.

9. Spoon marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls.
10. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls.

11. Spray the foil with cooking spray, and cover tightly with foil (this will ensure the mozzarella won't stick to the foil). Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes.
12. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Yield: 9-10 lasagna rolls

Source: Bechamel sauce adapted from Mario Batali, Lasagna Rolls adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
 
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