Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lasagna Rolls and Zuchinni with Bread Crumb Topping

I made this for my last girl's night with Megan. Tomorrow we are going to make lemon chicken at her house and watch So You Think You Can Dance. I have to find a new favorite since Alex left...

I didn't want us to spend the whole time cooking, so I decided to make this ahead of time, then put it in the oven when she arrived. Now that I am typing out the recipe, I see several mistakes I made...I was wondering why my Bechamel sauce was so thick!

Lasagna Rolls
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 of a 15-ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
1  bag of fresh spinach
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 1/2 Italian Turkey sausage links
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
8-10 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)


Melt 2 Tb butter in skillet.
Mix in 4 tsp of flour....I thought it said Tablespoons! My sauce was sooo thick and it took me forever to get the lumps out, ha! Cook while whisking for about 2 minutes.
Whisk in milk. I didn't have whole milk, so I added a little half and half to my milk.
Yours shouldn't have lumps like this if you added the correct amount of flour. Whisk sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 mins.
Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from heat, pour into the bottom of your baking pan.
The original recipe called for frozen spinach, but I think frozen spinach is gross and more time consuming (waiting for it to thaw, squeezing the moisture, you never need the whole package so it goes to waste...) It is very easy to cook fresh spinach. Bring 1 inch of water to boil in a pot. Insert steaming basket and add spinach. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes.
Then it looks like this!
I found another use for my potato ricer! Squeeze all the water out of spinach, the ricer works great.
Cook italian sausage. Remove from casing before adding to pan.

Cook until done.

Mix egg, ricotta, 1/4 cup mozzerella, 2 Tb parmesan, salt and pepper.
Add spinach and sausage to the mix.
Boil lasagna noodles for about 7 minutes.
Remove and set out so that the noodles do not touch or else they will stick together.
Spread about 2 Tb of ricotta mixture on lasagna noodle, then roll the noodle up.
Place the rolls seam side down in the pan on the bechamel sauce.
Pour marinara sauce over noodle.
Sprinkle with remaining mozzerrella and parmesan.
Bake on 450 for about 20 minutes. This is an action shot, haha.

ANOTHER squash and zuchinni dish! I have been making this for years. It is so tasty and very, very easy!
Zuchinni with Herb Bread Crumb Topping
2-3 zuchinni, I used squash too
2 Tb olive oil
1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1 Tb butter
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

I made this when Megan was over, so I was distracted and didn't get all the photos, just imagine it with me!

Chop squash in quarters, lengthwise. Drizzle with 1 Tb olive oil.
Add 1 Tb olive oil to pan and sear squash for about 2 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper. Remove and set on your serving plate.
Add butter and bread crumbs to the pan.
Add herbs to the pan. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes. (PS see how hot my skillet gets, stupid old gas stove that I have no control over...yours shouldn't look burned)
Pour breadcrumbs over squash and zuchinni.
Here was our yummy meal!
This is a great dish for entertaining. It can be made ahead of time and it looks very impressive for you guests!

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