Today's another My Grandmother's Recipes days, and Jeremy even loved this one... even though I snuck a few ingredients in on him.
Particularly the whole wheat lasagna, had he seen me add it in there would have been anarchy.
This lasagna recipe is different from any one I've ever made. It's filled with your traditional ricotta mixture, with spinach added in. Which happens to be something I like and do on rare occasion when I actually make traditional lasagna and not my spaghetti squash version.
The main ingredients that sets it apart from what I am use to is the bechamel sauce that you cover the bottom of the pan with. It give the dish a richness I don't normally associate with lasagna.
Like a hybrid of the best macaroni with lasagna added in.
Nanny's Lasagna Rolls
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tsp all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg (I didn't have any on hand and left it out.
1 15oz container part skim ricotta cheese (Nanny used whole milk)
1 10oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
3 oz prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 tsp salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 - 2 tsp olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce (make your own or use store bought)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
To make the sauce - Melt the butter in a heavy medium sauce pan over med-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to med-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.
For the lasagna rolls - Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, & pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
Add a tbsp or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite (al-dente). Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.
Butter a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the buttered dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tbsp of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at one end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tbsp of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.
In the recipe I made I did change a few things as usual. I browned 1 lb of ground beef and placed it on top of the lasagna rolls before adding the cheese.
Jeremy wouldn't exactly be happy with a recipe that didn't have more meat than the 3 oz of prosciutto that was already in it.
I also put the entire 2 cups of marinara over the lasagna rolls after adding the ground beef. I didn't want to serve it alongside like the recipe called for.
Oh, and as far as the noodles were concerned. I used 16 noodles and I did have them touch. I did 4 rows of 4.
Other than that and the nutmeg I talked about earlier in the post, I did everything else the same as Nanny.
Have you made lasagna rolls before, or do you go the more traditional route?