Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lasagna Roll-ups...and a small plea for Spring to hurry and WARM up!

Happy First Day of Spring!  I would love to report that it was warm…and sunny… and all the Cherry Blossoms are blooming here on the West Coast – BUT *sigh* I’d be fibbing.   In some of the higher areas… we’re still getting snow! (nope, no bitterness detected here... pfft! Think Mother Nature is messing with our minds! (well, she’s messing with mine at least)  BUT, trying to find the little positives on what seems like Winters last ditch effort of sticking around…. It also means cool nights…which ALSO means comfort food.   Though I am the type of person who fully believes BBQ Season is year-round… there’s something about a good hearty comfort food meal on a chilly night that seems to warm you from the inside out.   Lasagna Roll-ups fit that perfectly, putting a creative twist on the ole’stand-by yummy pasta dish, pairing perfectly with some fresh bread and glass of vino. 
First of all, let me say, this is recipe is easy to change around.  Pretty much anything you would put into your own normal Lasagna dish could apply here.  So be creative, clean out your veggie crisper drawer in your fridge… or indulge a little (like I did a bit---heehee) and toss in some different cheeses and such. (Moderation is still the word of the month... guess I'll just have to go round' the block a few more times with the pooch!)  This would also be great to make night before, so when you get home from work you can just pop it into the oven.  Of course… toss a salad, bake up some no-knead Sourdough Bread (I threw in Asiago Cheese and Roasted Garlic…holy YUM!!!) aannnnddd  you’ve got yourself a hearty-comfortfood-homemade-warmyourinsides-yummy meal.
Lasagna Roll-ups
  • 1 package Johnsonville Ground Sausage
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 package fresh Lasagna Sheets
  • 1 Jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 cups Mozzarella cheese
  • 8 slices provolone cheese
  • Salt/pepper to taste
- Cook ground meat over med-high heat in a large frying pan until no longer pink.
- Add in chopped spinach, garlic to meat mixture and stir frequently until spinach is wilted
- Remove from heat, stir in ricotta cheese, ½ cup of pasta sauce – TASTE… add salt/pepper if desired
- Lay out 1 lasagna sheet, add a spoonful of meat mixture

- Carefully / loosely roll up noodle and place in a 9 x 13” pan.
- Continue with remaining pasta sheets/meat mixture, carefully placing each roll-up next to eachother in pan so they don’t unravel
-Top roll-ups with remaining pasta sauce, making sure they are well covered
- Add provolone cheese slices, layering on top of pasta sauce (yes yes, this is part of my induldgence)
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.  Then cover with Aluminum foil and bake in a 350F preheated oven for 35-40 mins or until cheese is melted and fork is easily inserted/removed from a roll-up. 
**if you like, remove foil for last 5 or so min and brown up cheese (Broiler on High works well for this, just watch it carefully as the cheese burns easily!)
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 mins before serving.
Serve with some fresh bread, pour yourself a glass of vino and enjoy! 
Now….come on SPRING (I know it's your "first day this year" BUUUUUT)… WARM WEATHER… SUNSHINE…  I’m just about done with Winter....pretty please?!  With a Cherry Blossom on top?!

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