August 8, 2010

Lasagna Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Greetings! I found this recipe in one of my favorite resources, Cooking Light's Everyday Favorites cookbook. It was much less labor-intensive than regular lasagna and much more healthful. The sauce reminded me of a yummy twist on a classic romesco sauce. It was very flavorful and balanced, without being too heavy or overpowering. Yum! Easy to put together, satisfying, and mighty tasty. What more can you ask for??? I love finding "keeper" vegetarian recipes, and this one fits the criteria. My whole family loved it!

Lasagna Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Adapted From: Paulette Mitchell, Cooking Light, APRIL 2004 (published in Cooking Light's Everyday Favorites cookbook).


1/2 box uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles (use at least 8 whole noodles minimum)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms (I used crimini)
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, undrained
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional, for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare lasagna, cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms, spinach, and 3 garlic cloves; sauté 5 minutes or until onion and mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat, and stir in cheeses, 2 tablespoons basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.

To prepare sauce, place vinegar and remaining ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.

Place cooked noodles on flat surface; spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture over each noodle. Roll up noodles, jelly-roll fashion, starting with short side. Place the rolls, seam sides down, in a shallow 2-quart casserole dish. Pour the sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese to taste (optional) and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until all ingredients are warmed through. Top with 2 Tablespoons of remaining basil. Serve and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 rolls)
Calories: 393 (27% from fat)
Fat:11.7g (sat 4.3g,mono 3.6g,poly 1.5g)

NOTE: The nutritional info is not calculated considering the whole wheat noodles and Parmesan cheese. Those were my changes, and not part of the original recipe. If you use these options, the calorie count/nutritional info posted here will not be accurate.

The Result:
This dish was great!!! It was everything I love about a good pasta dish; full of flavor, satisfying, and comforting. I ended up having another half serving, which is something I rarely do these days. It was so good, I just couldn't help myself!!! Best of all, I was surprised at how easy it came together.

The original directions suggest microwave cooking for the final steps, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. In my experience, pasta gets a little rubbery from the microwave. I just wasn't comfortable with finishing my yummy dish in that manner. (The microwave is for reheating in my house...not cooking.) Instead, I amended the directions for a short cook time in the oven. It turned out great, and I didn't have to worry about botching it up with rubbery pasta.

I ended up making more than the 4 servings, since I cooked a half a box of lasagna noodles. I think my portions ended up working out to about 6-8 servings (of 2 rolls for each person). I am actually glad it happened that way, since I now have lots of leftovers to freeze and/or eat for lunches this week. This is a vegetarian winner!!!

1 comment:

lasagna said...

My children love lasagna rolls, too. Call it playing with food, but they do love helping me out when I'm making one, lol! My 9 and 6 year olds are making perfect lasagna rolls already, the youngest who's only 3 still needs training, though, lol! But nevertheless, we all love it. And you're right about making food a bit rubbery when cooked in microwave oven. I hate that, too. Even for reheating food, unless I'm really in a hurry, I don't like using my microwave either.