These lasagna roll-ups are like the “abridged” version of lasagna. Just as good, but way less time.
I have two lasagnas in my life. The first comes from the geniuses at Cook’s Illustrated. With layer upon luscious layer of roasted vegetables, three kinds of cheeses, fresh herbs and pasta, it takes a couple of hours to put together. Luckily, it can be made ahead, so I often drag out my battered, stained recipe and make it when I’m expecting company. I like to know it’s stashed in the fridge while I’m pouring wine, lighting candles and shooing cats out of the kitchen. That lasagna is a commitment (seriously, it calls for an entire pound of cheese), but it’s dependable and comfortable and overnight guests (a.k.a my sister) have been known to call dibs on it for lunch the next day.
These lasagna roll ups are an entirely different matter. They’re super quick to make (about 35 minutes including baking), with low-fat cheese (I promise you won’t know the difference) and they don’t leave me feeling like I should be wearing my fat jeans. They look fancy and taste fresh (thanks to the basil) but they’re still just cheesy enough (thanks to the cottage cheese and mozzarella). It’s a fine line my friends, and these lasagna rolls are walking it.
The recipe comes from The Kitchn. I added a big clump of fresh basil to the spinach filling. There aren’t a lot of recipes that I make over and over, but this is one of them.
- 8 lasagna noodles
- 60 g (about 2 ounces, 2 cups) baby spinach, finely chopped
- 6 big basil leaves, finely chopped
- 265 g (9 ounces, 1 cup) 1% cottage cheese, well-drained
- 60 g (2 ounce, ⅔ cup) part-skim mozzarella, shredded (or a mix of Italian cheeses)
- 30 g (1/3 cup) grated Parmesan
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 250 ml (1 cup) your favourite spagetti sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil an 8 by 12, or 9 inch by 9 inch pan.
- Cook the lasagna noodles in lots of salted water until al dente. Rinse with cold water and lay them on a fresh tea towel.
- Mix the spinach, basil, cottage cheese, 30 g (1/3 cup) of mozzarella, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Spread the filling over the noodles.
- Roll the noodles from the bottom to top, and place closely together (touching) in the pan.
- Spread the spagetti sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining 30 g (1/3 cup) of mozzarella.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes until heated through and bubbly.