Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tasty Thursday (Tasty Tuesday on Thursday)

Photo via Pinterest.

Here is what you will need:

8 lasagna noodles uncooked (we used whole wheat)
12 oz low-moisture part skim Mozzarella cheese (put some to the side for sprinkling on top)
3/4 cup low fat Ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup freshly grated good quality Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 - 4 medium Plum tomatoes thinly sliced (you'll need 32 slices)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
2 cups Marinara sauce ( we used our quick, easy and delicious homemade sauce)

*Simple Tomato Sauce:
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
dash of balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs
dash of salt & pepper
dash of sugar (optional)

Tomato Sauce:
*If you opted to make your own simple tomato sauce, which takes like 2 mins, grab a small sauce pan. Set to medium heat, Add your olive oil. Now add your garlic, and cook till fragrant, about a minute...don't let it get brown. Now add your crushed red pepper flakes and stir around a bit. Add your tomatoes, herbs, and balsamic vinegar. Stir. Add your salt, pepper and sugar. Remove from heat and set aside.

Now for the lasagna roll ups:

First Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. And prepare your lasagna noodles according to the package. Drain your noodles but DO NOT rinse them. They shouldn't be dripping with water. Lay them out on a piece of parchment or wax paper on your counter. Ok, let's get that filling going! In a large bowl whisk together your ricotta and egg until well blended.

Now, mix in your Parmesan cheese and most of your Mozzarella cheese. Just hold on to enough of the mozzarella to sprinkle on top before baking. And add dash or two of pepper. Now that you've got your filling mixed, each length of noodle gets 1/4 cup of the filling. We found the perfect way to do this is using a fork and a 1/4 cup measure. We loved that the cheese wasn't a goopy mess. The high quality grated parmesan binds it into a neat spreadable paste. Now layer on 4 plum tomato slices. Space them maybe a 1/4 to a half inch apart and leave a little room at the beginning of the noodle to make starting your roll easier. And make sure to top each tomato with with fresh basil! Me and Aar want his and her scents to wear that perfectly capture the essence of fresh basil. Roll your noodles up to the end, putting the seam on the bottom.

This really couldn't be easier! It could actually be a super fun recipe to do with the littles! These things are cute! You really could use one baking dish, but we had a few other recipes going while we made these and seriously need to pick up some more baking dishes. So we went with two 8 x 8 glass dishes and it worked out great. Spread about 1/4 cup of your sauce in the bottom of the dish, and lay your roll ups in seam side down. Now top each roll up with about 2-3 tablespoons of sauce.

Using your spoon, do your best to spread the sauce to cover all of your pasta. Just baste them so that they keep moist while baking. We snuggled our roll ups together and made sure to bring the sauce up the sides .
Now you can sprinkle your remaining mozzarella on top. We also added a bit more Parmesan and a bit of our favorite good quality Pecorino Romano. Pop your dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 mins.

Garnish with some more fresh basil and a smidge more grated parmesan and serve!

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