Lovely Lasagna Rolls Filled with Spinach and Goat and Ricotta Cheese Bechamel

By • January 18, 2010 • 14 Comments

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Author Notes: I love lasagna and starting making lasagna rolls several years ago. It's a great way of really highlighting different kinds of cheese fillings that can get a little lost in the more traditional layers of a lasagna. I used a combination of goat, ricotta and parmesan cheese with spinach and then added a little proscuitto for a flavor contrast and pine nuts for texture. These are a little more work, but it can all be done in advance and just pop the lasagna into the oven to bake when ready for dinner. TheWimpyVegetarian

Serves 4

  • 6 ounces ricotta cheese, drained (see note below)
  • 2 bunches of spinach, washed
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated, divided
  • 4 slices proscuitto, diced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half and half, or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (I use a mixture of black and white pepper)
  • 6 large lasagna noodles with ruffled edges for 6 rolls
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound spicy Italian pork sausage, uncooked, casings removed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, small diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pesto (store-bought is fine for this recipe)
  • 2 28-ounce cans of tomatoes, diced, plus the juices from one can
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 artichoke bottoms, optional (canned artichoke bottoms are fine here)
  1. Drain the ricotta cheese for at least an hour before using. The cheese should be dry and cakey before using. To do this, line a colander with a damp piece of cheesecloth and place the ricotta cheese on it. You can also gently squeeze the ricotta between paper towels if it's still wet after an hour.
  2. Blanch the spinach for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Remove and drain. When cool enough to handle, press and squeeze as much moisture out as you can. Roll in a towel and squeeze the last bit of moisture out. Remove from towel and chop. Set aside.
  3. Combine the cheeses together using only 2 ounces of the parmesan cheese, reserving the rest for later. Fold in the proscuitto and pine nuts. Set aside while you make the bechamel base. I do a slightly browned butter bechamel for this filling. Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat and wait until it's a soft golden brown before adding the flour. Whisk the flour in and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually add the half and half, constantly whisking the mixture. Once the mixture is completely smooth, place the pot back on the heat and cook until the mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat again and fold in the cheese mixture. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the lasagna according to the instructions on the box, cooking until it is just al dente. Run under cool water and aside until cool enough to handle while you make the tomato sauce.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and cook the sausage and sauté until crumbly and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  6. Add olive oil to the pan if necessary and sauté the onion and pepper. Once they begin to soften (about 15 minutes), add the garlic and oregano. Cook 1 minute.
  7. Add the wine and cook until almost completely absorbed. Add the basil, sausage, pesto, tomatoes and juices from one can, and tomato paste. Cook until thickened, about 20 minutes while you make the lasagna rolls.
  8. To make the lasagna rolls, lay out each noodle individually on a work space. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of cheese filling onto the noodle and smooth out along the noodle. Starting at one end, roll each noodle up.
  9. When the sauce is ready, spoon some sauce onto the bottom of a 8" X 8" baking pan. Make sure the bottom is completely covered. Place the lasagna rolls in the dish, seam side down. If you use artichoke bottoms, they go down first with the lasagna rolls laying on top. Ladle more sauce around and on top of the lasagna rolls and bake until starting to bubble (about 25 minutes). Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese on top and bake another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  10. To serve, use a large serving spoon to lift each lasagna roll (and artichoke bottom, if using) onto a plate. Ladle some of the sauce around it. Serve with garlic bread and a fresh green salad and enjoy!
Jump to Comments (14)

Tags: can be made ahead, lasagna , serves a crowd

Comments (14) Questions (0)

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9 months ago SunBunny

Ahhh pine nuts again! I feel a new favorite ingredient emerging! I love the artichoke factor here. Fond memories of the Auntie's offering them for desert around the holidays. Smashing recipe - will be taking inspiration from it soon.

Me

9 months ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much!

Fineculinary-1362411278_600

over 1 year ago FINE CULINARY

All I can say is OH MY GOODNESS! Beautiful:)

Me

over 1 year ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks! :-)

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over 4 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Brilliant recipe. Thanks for sharing it. You always have very good recipes.

Me

over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much! And I'm really looking forward to seeing your chocolate cake entries this week. I've enjoyed your recipes very much too and this week is your category!

Susan_headshot

almost 5 years ago Food Blogga

I've made individual stacked lasagna but never like this! What an attractive presentation!

Me

almost 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much Food Blogga! It's a great way to dress up comfort food.

Artdecowoman-main_full_green

almost 5 years ago QueenOfGreen

My mother used to make lasagne this way! She said it was because it was easier scoop out individual servings. Can't wait to try your version!

Me

almost 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks! I totally agree - it's MUCH easier to portion out to individual plates. It's great as a catered meal for this reason too. Hope you enjoy it.

Artdecowoman-main_full_green

over 4 years ago QueenOfGreen

Uh oh. Where did the spinach go?

Me

over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Oh no! So sorry! The spinach goes in with the cheeses and pine nut mixture that the bechamel gets folded into. Hope I responded in time to you on this! Enjoy!

Artdecowoman-main_full_green

over 4 years ago QueenOfGreen

Loved LOVED the filling! I think my sauce was a little too chunky/watery, so I may have to try that part again. Thank you for the recipe!

Me

over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I'm so glad you liked it - and really appreciate the feedback! Two things off the top of my head is to make sure the spinach is really well drained before adding to the filling. I now use a potato ricer to squeeze out as much water as I can and then wrap it in a towel to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Likewise I drain the ricotta cheese by placing it in cheesecloth and hung it from my kichen faucet if it feels particularly wet. Than I roll it in paper towels in the end.