Who doesn’t love a good lasagna? The only thing not to love about it is how it presented in the dish, but this rolled version solves all of the problems. I figured this might be the perfect Valentines Day meal to make for your family or for a significant other. Plus it is so easy to make and makes for such a pretty presentation.
Are you into big gestures for Valentines Day? Well, I am not a big fan of going out on Valentines Day. I think it’s overrated, or maybe because I was in labor a few days before the day ten years ago with my first born son and the last thing I wanted to do was go out and eat at an over priced and over crowded restaurant. Wouldn’t it be more special and romantic if you cook a meal at home and enjoy it with candles and a nice bottle of wine. Finish the night with a movie on the couch and call it a nice relaxing night in. Seems perfect to me, how about you guys? Maybe after having kids your priorities change a bit on going out as much.
This lasagna is not only good for Valentines Day, it is also a highly requested dish by my kids. Every year on their birthday, they get whatever special homemade meal they want, it’s usually my lasagna, so I am finally getting to share this wonderful recipe with you guys as well besides sharing it with my family.You will be surprised how easy it is to make this rolled lasagna and you have the option to make your own tomato sauce or take a short cut and use your favorite pasta sauce and add meat to it, or not and keep it vegetarian. I’ll keep this nice and short and get straight to the recipe. I double the recipe when I make this, because it keeps well in the fridge and you will definitely want to have seconds for lunch or even the next day for dinner, I promise you. When I was photographing this recipe, I totally forgot to photograph the part where you add in the sliced mozzarella… had to redo it before I cooked this, but it was in it and you should totally add it in, so just FYI.
INGREDIENTS for LASAGNA
1 lb lasagna noodles, like this wavy noodles
32 oz full fat ricotta cheese
16 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices
3 tbsp garlic, minced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
handful of baby spinach, chopped finely
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup freshly grated good parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
salt, to taste
INGREDIENTS FOR MEAT TOMATO SAUCE
1 25.05 oz jar of favorite tomato sauce with basil
1 tsp olive oil
1 lbs ground beef
5 leaves basil leaves, chopped
salt to taste
1. Bring a large stock pot filled 3/4 of the way full with water to a boil.
2. Preheat oven to 350° F
3. Add 1 ½ tablespoons salt to boiling water and carefully insert all of the lasagna noodles to the boiling water. Boil for 6 minutes.
4. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmesan cheese, basil, spinach, lemon zest and juice. Add salt to taste. Stir until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
5. Place a large piece of parchment or wax paper on 2 baking sheets or counter. Drain lasagna noodles, rinse with cold water and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil so they don’t stick together. Place lasagna noodles out flat on the parchment paper. Spread 1/3 cup of the cheese and basil filling on each of the lasagna noodles. Cut the fresh mozzarella paper thin and divide it among the lasagna noodles about 3 slices for each noodle. Roll up the noodles and set them aside.
6. If you are using a large deep pan like mine or a dutch oven like this, you can use the same pan to cook your pasta and pasta-meat sauce mixture and then use the same pan to bake the lasagna in so you’re only using one pan for this recipe.
7. Heat the pan to high, add olive oil and meat, sauté for a few minutes while breaking down the meat into smaller pieces. Add in the jar of tomato sauce, let is heat up and cook for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, add in the basil and salt if needed, mix well.
8. Reserve half the sauce to top the noodles.
9. Carefully place the rolled noodles upright in the pot, making sure they don’t tip over until all of them are tightly in place.
10. Pour the remaining pasta sauce over the top. Cover with foil so the tops don’t dry out. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Five minutes before it’s done, top with grated mozzarella, don’t cover with the foil again and return back to the oven until cheese has melted. Remove from oven, garnish with plenty of freshly chopped basil and extra parmesan if you prefer.
Enjoy and indulge in the easiest and prettiest rolled lasagna you’ll ever have. Serve with a side salad and a glass of wine and your valentines dinner will be spectacular.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
If you give this rolled lasagna a try, let me know what you think. Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture and share it on my Facebook page or tag it #lenaskitchenblog on Instagram! I love seeing what you come up with!