Tomato Basil Risotto meets the Lasagna Roll

By • May 27, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: I made up this recipe the day after I made a massive batch of my Tomato Basil Risotto with Homemade Ricotta. I also had leftover homemade ricotta and wanted to do something with both other than just eat the same thing two nights in a row. A great skill of mine is using leftovers in unique, sometimes crazy ways. Rarely does anything go unused in my refrigerator! So after thinking for about 5 seconds, I had a wickedly great idea and I texted my husband to say, “We are making lasagna rolls for dinner and stuffing them with the lefty risotto.” He texted me back, “OH MY GOD.” And thus, another favorite recipe was born. I will say, this recipe works best over 2 days, making the risotto one night and the lasagna rolls the next night with the leftovers. I didn't even add in my recipe for homemade ricotta (which is fantastic but not worth the extra time if you're making this on a single day!) Labor intensive? Yes. Worth it? SO MUCH YES!Katherine

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Makes enough for an army

Tomato Basil Risotto filling for the Lasagna Rolls:

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 7 cups chicken stock, homemade if possible
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 8 large tomatoes, mixed colors and sizes (heirloom are best if available!)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • splashes red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  1. Marinate your tomatoes by cutting them into chunks and putting them in a bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper, a hefty drizzle of olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar.
  2. In a large pot, bring your stock to a simmer, then turn down to low to keep warm.
  3. Dice your celery, onion and garlic.
  4. In a large pan over medium heat, add a few Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle in some red pepper flakes.
  5. Over medium heat, sauté the celery, onion, and garlic until softened. Season with salt & pepper.
  6. Pour your arborio rice in the pan and stir to coat the rice. Turn the heat down to low/medium for the remainder of the cooking.
  7. Add 1 ladle of the warm chicken stock to the risotto, stirring frequently until the stock has been fully absorbed by the rice. Continue adding 1 ladle of stock at a time and stirring until absorbed. It takes about 30-45 minutes, ladle after ladle until your rice will be done.
  8. When your risotto has reached the creamy point and won’t absorb any more liquid, it is time to dump in the marinated tomatoes, juice and all. Stir to combine and give it a taste. Season with any more salt & pepper. Keep the heat on low.
  9. Add the 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Also tear or chop the bunch of basil leaves and toss in. Give everything a stir.
  10. Feel free to enjoy some of the risotto now, just save enough for the lasagna rolls! Transfer remaining risotto to a container and refrigerate until cooled.

To make the Lasagna Rolls:

  • 1.5-2 cups Tomato Basil Risotto from above
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 15-20 lasagna noodles (NOT the "no boil" kind!)
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 28 ounces can good quality tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Large baking dish
  1. Remove the sausages from their casings and sauté with the diced onion, breaking the sausage into little pieces, until fully cooked. Add this to your already made Tomato Basil Risotto.
  2. Defrost and drain your frozen spinach. Squeeze out all the water with a kitchen towel, then add to your Tomato Basil Risotto mixture.
  3. Puree the can of tomatoes, adding a little salt and the basil.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of salt (you want the water to be salty like the sea!)
  5. Plop your lasagna noodles in the water (4 or 5 at a time). Boil until the noodles are flexible, but not fully cooked. Remove when flexible and place on a well oiled baking sheet. Continue cooking the rest of the noodles.
  6. While the noodles are boiling, spoon some of your sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. This is so the lasagna rolls wont stick to the bottom.
  7. When all the noodles are cooked, scoop a large spoonful of the risotto mixture onto the end of the lasagna noodle and roll it up. Place the lasagna roll seam side down in your pre-sauced baking dish. Continue with all the lasagna noodles until your dish is full.
  8. Spoon the rest of your sauce over the top of the noodles, sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with some olive oil.
  9. Bake at 400° until bubbly and browned.

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