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Lasagna Rolls

A few nights ago Marcus mentioned he wanted lasagna. I think I have only made lasagna once before last night, and it was not very good. I had tried a vegetarian lasagna a few years ago, that is when I realized I am not a fan of cooked spinach. I was searching for a good lasagna recipe that did not have a “Sunday Gravy” to go with it, cause I just don’t have the time on a Thursday. I came across a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, Lasagna Rolls, that had prosciutto and lots of cooked spinach, I omitted both. The rolling idea sounded cool though.

Rolling these noodles is not as messy as stuffing manicotti!

1 lb Italian sausage
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 ½ cup mozzarella, divied
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 – 14oz cans stewed tomatoes
1 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
9 cooked lasagna noodles, depending how many you can squeeze

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the casing from the sausage and discard. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage; I break up the sausage with my hands as I put it in the pan, cook thoroughly. Drain and discard and grease in the pan and remove sausage from heat. Add ricotta and ½ cup of mozzarella; stir until well blended. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a small, non-stick sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and chopped basil, onions and sauté until the onions are soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add oregano, parsley, thyme, tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cover for about 10 minutes occasionally stirring.

Cook 9 lasagna noodles per directions on the box.

To assemble, line the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch lasagna pan with ¼ of marina sauce. Lay out a lasagna noodle on a work surface, and then spread 2 tablespoons of sausage and ricotta mixture evenly over the noodle. Start rolling the noodle at 1 end, then put about a 1 tablespoon more of the sausage and ricotta mixture and continue to roll the noodle.

Repeat this for the remaining noodles and sausage and ricotta mixture.

Spoon remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes covered. uncover and bake for 10 minutes to let the cheese brown. My cheese got a little browner than it should have, but mistakes are made. And it was still really good. Seriously, no leftovers! Compliments even from the man who claims he “just doesn’t prefer Italian sausage.”

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