Mertzie's Pesto, Cheese & Spinach Lasagna Rolls
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- lb. box lasagna noodles (not oven ready)
- lb. container ricotta
- lb. mozzarella and/or provolone, shredded
- cup parmesan
- package frozen spinach (thawed)
- tsp nutmeg
- tsp fennel seeds
- tbs minced garlic
- salt & pepper
- tbs italian seasoning
- marinara sauce (either one jar or homemade)
- cup pesto (i used jarred, but you could make fresh)
1The night before, I like to: drain the heck out of the thawed spinach in a strainer & squeeze out. Refrigerate w/ some paper towels to get out excess water. I also drain any excess moisture from ricotta cheese, and then mix the ricotta, parm, 1/2 of the mozzarella/provolone mix (so about 1 cup); salt, pepper, nutmeg, fennel, garlic & Italian seasoning. When mixed well, I refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.
2Day of: Heat oven to 350. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water w/ a good dose of salt until just done. Drain on wax paper in single layers. (I take out the lasagna with tongs).
3If the ricotta mix has any liquid, drain that, then mix in the 2 eggs. Squeeze out any excess moisture from spinach & then add to ricotta mix. Stir well to blend.
4Pour enough sauce in your baking pan to cover bottom. (If using jarred spaghetti sauce, add about 1/2 cup of tomato paste to it to help it stay thick & not watery).
5Now, you can start filling your noodles. Spread pesto onto each lasagna noodle, then cut the noodle in half. At one end of each noodle, put about a tablespoon of ricotta/spinach mix, and then roll up. Lay in baking pan, seam side down. Continue until all of your ricotta mix is used.
6Sprinkle the rest of the shredded mozzarella over top & then add some more grated parm, as well. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes covered, and about 5-10 minutes uncovered, depending how golden you like your cheese. I don't like mine brown.
7Serve with additional heated sauce, if you like (this is one of the few pastas that I don't smother in sauce, as the pesto gives it plenty of flavor!) a fresh salad, and Italian bread for a yummy meal. Enjoy!