This variation of standard lasagna is made up of rolled, stuffed noodles standing on end. The recipe calls for the use of lasagna sheets, but our southern town doesn’t really offer too many options for that. Instead, I used regular lasagna noodles and cut them in half and then into two pieces (1″) instead of three (1-1/2″) once filled. A bit messy to create, but soooo delicious. I also used fresh baby spinach instead of frozen. I tore the leaves into pieces and sautéed them in a combination of Tuscan Herb olive oil and a bit of butter and allowed them to cool before combining with the ricotta mixture. This dish received glowing reviews — “the creamy, sweet ricotta combined with the slightly bitter spinach and a great garlic flavor was extraordinarily good.”
BAKED SPINACH AND RICOTTA ROTOLO (Serves 4-6)
- 8 fresh lasagna sheets (15cm/6″ x 11cm/4.5″)
- ½ cup Mozarella cheese, shredded
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
- 8 oz. frozen spinach (pre chopped)
- 1 lb. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ fresh nutmeg, grated (or ⅛ tsp nutmeg powder)
- ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper
Tomato Sauce Ingredients
- 24oz passata (pureed tomatoes)
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Handful basil leaves (optional)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- For the sauce:
- Heat oil in a 9″ ovenproof pan over medium high heat.
- Add garlic and sauté for 10 seconds then add onion.
- Cook onion until translucent and starting to turn golden, then add the remaining Tomato Sauce ingredients.
- Simmer for 2 minutes to bring the flavors together, then remove from heat.
- Scoop out 1 cup of the Tomato Sauce which will be used to drizzle over the dish at the end.
- For the filling:
- Defrost the spinach in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.
- Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach using your hands, then place in a large bowl.
- Add remaining Filling ingredients and mix well to combine. I find it easiest (fastest) to do this with my hands.
- out the lasagna sheet with the shorter end in front of you. The reason is that you want to roll these up so they are fatter than cannelloni.
- Place ⅓ cup (packed) of filling onto the lasagna sheet. Dab some water on the end furthest away from you (to seal the roll), then roll up starting from the end closest to you. Finish with the seal down.
- Continue with remaining lasagna sheets.
- Cut rolls into 3 (so each piece is 3.5cm/1.5″ wide).
- Place the rolls into the tomato sauce with the filling facing up.
- Drizzle the reserved Tomato Sauce over the rotolo, then bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and scatter the mozzarella over. Return to oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
- Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.