What's For Dinner: Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna Roll Ups


Like Garfield, I'm a fan of lasagna, but I think I've only made "normal" lasagna once -- and even then it was a butternut squash lasagna with a cream sauce, not your typical cheesy-marinara goodness. I'm not sure what it is about lasagna that intimidates me -- all those layers? The fact that there are just two of us, and a typical lasagna recipe would feed us for days on end? 

For some reason, lasagna roll ups seem much easier to handle. And with a set serving size (one roll; two if you're really hungry), it's easy to keep portions under control. Though the recipe I worked from used a meaty marinara sauce at its base, I opted to make my lasagna roll ups vegetarian. I added sauteed onions, garlic, and mushrooms to the mix as well as a number of fresh herbs I had on hand. This recipe is very forgiving -- feel free to improvise with the ingredients you have in your fridge or pantry. 



Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna Roll Ups (printer-friendly version)
makes 8 servings

8 lasagna noodles
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I used a tomato-basil sauce)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

15 oz ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (divided)
4 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan (divided)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch red pepper flakes

1. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and saute until translucent and lightly golden, 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped mushrooms. Saute until browned and most of the liquid has cooked away. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chopped spinach and saute until just wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat.
2. Cook the lasagna noodles per the manufacturer's instructions. Drain them, then lay them out on a working surface lightly coated with cooking spray.
3. While the noodles are cooking, in a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, egg, rosemary, thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, pepper, salt, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the spinach-mushroom mixture until well-combined.
4. Spoon a thin, even layer of the lasagna filling down the entire length of each lasagna noodle. Carefully roll each noodle up.
5. Pour a thin layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Place the lasagna rolls seam-side-down into the baking dish. Top each roll with a sprinkle of Parmesan. Then cover each roll with the remaining marinara sauce. Use the remaining mozzarella (1 cup) and Parmesan (2 tablespoons) to evenly top each roll with cheese.
6. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted.

(inspired by this For the Love of Cooking recipe)

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