#EasterWeek: Whipped Ricotta Salad

26685618_10155993373291948_4409902930968397778_o

Wait a minute.

Wasn’t it just Christmas?

Am I allowed to admit I feel like I haven’t reached a level of organization for 2018 yet?

And we’re talking Easter!?

Well, since we’re talking about it, might as well cook about it!

This year’s #EasterWeek, hosted by Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, convenes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and providing you plenty of time to come up with your perfect Easter menu. (Easter is April 1st – that’s 13 days from now!)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

To start your menu, I propose a light and bright, spring-timey salad.

This salad comes from the cookbook Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count … Without Stressing Out by Giada De Laurentiis and is featured in her Las Vegas restaurant.

I quite like ricotta cheese, but when I have leftovers I never know what to do with it besides make some lasagna, ravioli, or pasta sauce. I have done muffins before, which is quite delicious.

With an almost full container of ricotta in my refrigerator, I selected one of Giada’s cookbooks hoping she’d know what to do.

Guess what.

She does!

This salad is both refreshing and satisfying.

The basil vinaigrette paired with the fresh tomatoes and the creamy ricotta reminded me of a caprese salad.

Whipped Ricotta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 C packed fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta cheese, chilled
  • 3 C baby greens salad mix (I used a blend of kale and spinach)
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved

Steps:

  1. Make dressing: Place basil, toasted pine nuts, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes into a food processor and blend. Add in 3 tbsp of the olive oil until the dressing comes together. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer, whip the ricotta with the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, gently toss the salad green, peas, and tomatoes with the dressing.
  4. Plate: Spoon whipped ricotta onto a plate and top with the salad. Serves 4-6 people.

Whipped Ricotta Salad for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great Easter recipes:

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Gratin by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Bunny Cinnamon Rolls by Family Around the Table

Bunny Mary by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Carrot Roll Cake by Cookaholic Wife

Chocolate Dipped Robin’s Egg Cookies by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Crunchy Easter Bird Nest Granola Bites by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Deviled eggs with creme Fraiche and herbs by Simple and Savory

Easter M&M Blondies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Easter Mini Chocolate Rum Cupcakes by Daily Dish Recipes

Egg Benedict Quiche by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Orange Ricotta Pancakes by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Puff Pastry Eggs with Ham and Cheese by All that’s Jas

Sausage and Spinach Pie by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Tsoureki – Greek Easter Bread by Caroline’s Cooking

Whipped Ricotta Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook

#FoodieExtravaganza: Chocolate

foodieextravaganza-300

It’s the first full week of October that means it’s time for another #FoodieExtravaganza!

Before I get into my schpeal about this wonderful group I have to take a moment and FREAK OUT. It’s OCTOBER. It’s the month that my baby boy turns ONE. How did this happen? You’d think having gone through it once already, I’d be prepared for it this time around. Nope!

Okay, sorry about that.

Within #FoodieExtravaganza, each month we take turns hosting and selecting a foodie holiday associated with that month. This month we’re celebrating anything and everything chocolate. Kathleen of  Fearlessly Creative Mammas is our spectacular host today.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe from our favorite cookbook Brunch at Bobby’s so why not share these chocolate blintzes we made an embarrassingly long time ago. These crepe-like pancakes are folded around a chocolate ricotta filling. I opted to leave my chocolate chips whole instead of chopping them up and my husband and I had differing opinions on that technique. I enjoyed the bonus crunch that the chips provided, but he thought it made those bites a little too chocolate-forward.

Chocolate Blintzes with Chocolate Ricotta Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/3 C + 1 tbsp cocoa powder, divided use
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C diced strawberries (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 2 C milk
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Steps:

  1. Combine the ricotta, powdered sugar, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips (option to chop them) and strawberries. Cover and refrigerate 1-8 hours.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale. Add in the milk and melted butter.
  3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, remaining cocoa powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, stirring until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 2-24 hours.
  4. Pour 1/4 C batter into a small greased skillet. (I used non-stick cooking spray between each pancake) Swirl the pan around to create an even pancake. Once the blintz bubbles in the center, flip and cook another minute. Remove from skillet and fill with 2-3 tbsp of your filling. Fold blintzes like you would an enchilada.

*This recipe is modified from Brunch at Bobby’s*

Chocolate Blintzes with Chocolate Ricotta Filling for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other chocolate filled recipes:

Holy Mole Pork Stew from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Triple Chocolate and Cream Trifle from Fearlessly Creative Mammas

2 Kiss Cupcakes from Sneha’s Recipe

Chocolate Lovers Dream Cake from Cookin and Craftin

Kahlua Chocolate Cake from Making Miracles

Queen Anne Squares from Tara’s Multicultural Table

Hot Fudge Cheesecake Brownies from Cookaholic Wife

Nutty Chocolate Fudge from Basic N Delicious

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole from Caroline’s Cooking

Simple Chocolate Cake from Passion Kneaded

Chocolate Rugelach from Hardley a Goddess

Crispy Chocolate Surprise Balls from G’Gina’s Kitchenette

Marshmallow Turtle Bars from Food Lust People Love

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins from Not Too Shabby Gabby

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

orange ricotta pancakes 2  Sew You Think You Can CookI love finding new ways to use ricotta cheese. I almost always have leftover ricotta cheese whenever I cook with it, and that tub makes its way to the back of the fridge to be completely forgotten. Instead of letting that ricotta go to waste I add it to the weekend’s breakfast menu!

These pancakes were the first recipe we made from our favorite Brunch at Bobby’s. We served them with Almond Butter Syrup. Bobby suggested serving these pancakes with a fig compote and some pistachios.

Just like all breakfast sweets, Firecracker ate these up, so I loved getting the extra punch of protein from the ricotta.

*If you can find fresh ricotta, use that. However, allowing the more commonly found ricotta cheese to drain through a fine strainer for an hour is an acceptable substitute. (That’s definitely what I did!)

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 C fresh ricotta, or see note* above
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Steps:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, vanilla, and orange zest.
  2. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Using a handheld electric mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry. Gently fold in the egg whites.
  5. On a hot buttered griddle drop 1/4 C of batter into pancakes. When bubbles form and start to pop flip the pancakes and cook until golden on both sides.

orange ricotta pancakes 1  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

#MuffinMonday: Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Muffin Monday

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins to brighten their Mondays. And I’ve decided to join in the fun! I’ve been a part of this group for a couple of months now but today is the first day I am able to post with the gang. There isn’t a theme to #MuffinMonday posts so anything goes, as long as it’s a muffin!

We went through a spell with Firecracker where the only thing he’d eat was a waffle. I became creative in adding some extra nutrition to the breakfast item through apples, sweet potatoes, and Greek yogurt. The waffle obsession has slowed if not died and I’m happy to report the adventurous eater is slowly reemerging. I’m looking forward to continuing to post with this group once a month as it seems muffins offer another food medium to sneak in some good nutrition.

Today’s muffins are filled with ricotta cheese and lemon. The ricotta cheese provides extra protein and calcium and yields perfectly light and fluffy muffins.

I’ve had this recipe on my radar for 11 months and finally had some leftover ricotta (from Thanksgiving) to make it! (I’ve been using my leftover ricotta for pasta instead.) Tara’s muffins are much prettier than mine because she put coarse sugar over the top.

This recipe makes 1 dozen kid-approved muffins.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 C flour
  • 3/4 C cake flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 C ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I used Nielsen-Massey)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In an other bowl fold together the egg, ricotta, water, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  5. Divide batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/lemon-ricotta-muffins/*

lemon ricotta muffins for #MuffinMonday from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out these other muffin recipes:

Bacon Cheddar Corn Muffins from Making Miracles

Banana Cranberry Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Banana Streusel Muffins from All Roads from Lead to the Kitchen

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts

Lemon Ricotta Muffins from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Savory Corn Bread Muffins from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Sticky Toffee Bran Muffins from Food Lust People Love

You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page

Roasted Garlic Spinach Pizza with Chicken

I love pizza, of almost any variety. Red sauce, barbecue, white sauce, or buffalo are all good in my book. There are a couple of fun pizza places near us that do highly creative flavors using bean spreads in lieu of sauce, too. Still delicious!

The pizza I’m sharing with you today is a white sauce based pizza topped with spinach and chicken. Feel free to omit the chicken for a deliciously satisfying vegetarian option.

The ricotta mixture that creates the white sauce is flavored with freshly roasted garlic and has a little touch of sweetness from honey. If you’re feeding this to an under-one-year-old then feel free to substitute agave, sugar, or even omit it entirely. This mixture would be heavenly as a ravioli filling or even as an extra flavor booster to lasagna. Seriously, yum!IMG_5279 (2)

I was surprised that my then almost 13 month old scarfed down this pizza. If I put it in front of him today I don’t think it’d be met with the same enthusiasm. Apparently almost 15 months yields a picky-eating, food-refusal stage?

Roasted Garlic Spinach Pizza with Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 head garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 pizza crust (I used a refrigerated whole wheat crust)
  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (I used Gourmet Garden stir-in basil paste)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
  • 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the top of the head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and salt, wrap in foil and roast 30-40 minutes until tender and golden. Let cool.
  3. Mash the cooled garlic cloves and stir into the ricotta, basil, honey, and oregano. Season to taste with S+P.
  4. Follow the directions on the pizza dough (prebake if necessary); top pizza crust with ricotta mixture, spinach, chicken, and mozzarella. Bake according to package directions (for me, 17 minutes at 400degF).

*This recipe is adapted from Kare at http://www.kitchentreaty.com/roasted-garlic-spinach-white-pizza-with-optional-chicken/*

Roasted Garlic Spinach Pizza | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage

Up until I discovered this pasta recipe, I never knew what to do with leftover ricotta cheese. I actually wasn’t quite sure if I even cared for ricotta outside of ravioli filling and lasagna layers. This quick recipe has changed how I feel about ricotta! I will be more open to other uses of ricotta. I now never worry about if the container I bought is too big because if I can’t find something else to do with it, I can make this pasta. Something I have done four times already (once without the meat, too!)

IMG_2976I chose to use veggie fusilli pasta in an effort to “sneak” veggies into my son’s mouth. (I know it doesn’t yield the best photographs.) He has loved this pasta each and every time. He now doesn’t discriminate against certain colored pasta, but the first time we enjoyed this dish he picked his way around the green spinach noodles. I also added Italian sausage as I knew my husband wouldn’t consider this a real meal. Feel free to omit the sausage (increase the garlic to 1 tbsp and saute very quickly in the oil. Add the entire garlicky oil mix to the ricotta sauce) if you prefer and make this a great side dish.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb fusilli pasta
  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
  2. In a small skillet, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. When the sausage is almost cooked through, add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Remove from heat and set aside, draining any extra fat if needed.
  3. In a bowl whisk together ricotta, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and season to taste with S+P.
  4. In a large bowl toss together pasta, sausage, and ricotta sauce.

*This recipe is adapted from Cooking from the Farmers’ Market*

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Turkey Lasagna

Fun fact: It’s National Lasagna Day!

It’s quite baffling to realize that I have had this blog for over two years now and have yet to share my lasagna recipe! I played off of it for a fancier version with lasagna roll ups last February.

Lasagna - Sew You Think You Can CookNo-boil noodles are the secret to making this dish easy to whip up. They don’t have that wavy shape of traditional lasagna noodles, but they make spreading ricotta on them as simple as spreading butter on toast. I like to sneak in extra veggies, too; bell pepper and onion join the ground turkey and I mix chopped fresh spinach in with the ricotta cheese. A double helping of cheese (mozzarella in every layer with the ricotta) doesn’t hurt anything either!

When I would have to travel for work I liked to prepare a lasagna the night before I left so my husband would have something to eat in my absence. (It’s also a great option to take to someone’s house in the event of a new baby’s arrival!) I most recently made this particular lasagna (read: this [poorly] photographed lasagna) the night before I took the little man to Florida for a friend’s wedding.

IMG_4253 (2)I’m happy to report that even my little man loved my lasagna! I was astounded by how much he devoured. I do think it was my favorite lasagna to date! I have a couple of theories as to why this one tasted better: whole milk ricotta cheese and Parmesan Romano marinara sauce – both of which are Kroger brands.

Turkey Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground turkey (you could increase this up to 2 lb if you like a meatier lasagna)
  • 1/2 C chopped baby spinach
  • 1 container (15 oz) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil. When onion is translucent add the garlic and cook 60 seconds. Add the turkey to the pan and cook through, breaking up as you go. Seasoning with S+P.
  3. In a bowl, combine the spinach and ricotta. Season to taste with S+P.
  4. Layer the lasagna: Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread some of the ricotta mixture on the noodles and place in the dish (break up noodles as needed to fit your dish – I used a total of 7) ricotta side up. Top with half of the turkey mixture, half of the remaining sauce, and half of the mozzarella. Repeat with a second layer.
  5. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and cook another 5-10, or until bubbly and golden. (Note: If you prepare the lasagna ahead of time, remove from fridge while oven is preheating and add an extra 5-10 minutes to the covered bake time.) Allow lasagna to cool for 5 minutes before cutting or it will fall apart.

Turkey Lasagna | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Carrot Risotto

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you might have noticed a lot of “sneak peak” photographs utilizing some sponsored item. All of those goodies will be shared for #BrunchWeek which starts next Monday. I am so excited!

One of our generous sponsors is Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic/True Juice Family. A beautiful box of fresh organic produce and juices arrived on my doorstep. The kale and radishes will be utilized next week. The baby carrots have been a perfect healthy afternoon snack – reminding me how much I enjoy carrots! Cal-Organic also sent a bag of Colorshred carrots. The beautiful bag of carrot confetti was used to create a colorful spring time risotto.

We grilled up some chicken to serve alongside this side dish. As a side dish, the recipe below will serve four people. My little man really enjoyed this risotto and even had some of the leftovers for lunch the next day. Look who’s coming around to carrots after all!

Carrot Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 1 tbsp butter, divided use
  • 1 1/2 C shredded carrots
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 C arborio rice
  • 1/4 C white wine
  • 3 – 4 C chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp parsley

Steps:

  1. In a dutch oven over medium-high heat melt half of the butter and half of the oil. Add the shredded carrots with 1/4 C water, salt, and the sugar. Cover and cook for five minutes. Uncover and allow to cook until the liquid is evaporated. Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. In the dutch oven melt the remaining butter and oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the arborio rice, stir to coat, and cook about one minute. Deglaze with white wine.
  4. Once the wine is absorbed add the warm stock a ladleful at a time, stirring, waiting for liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Continue cooking this way until the rice is creamy and tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the carrots, ricotta, Parmesan, and parsley. Season to taste with S+P. If needed, thin the risotto with additional stock.

*This recipe is adapted from Debi at http://lifecurrents.dw2.net/spring-and-caramelized-carrot-risotto/*

Carrot Risotto | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: I was provided a bag of Colorshred carrots and other produce through #BrunchWeek, however all opinions and statements are my own.

Bacon and Corn Stuffed Shells

The pantry and fridge in our home has been pretty empty since Thanksgiving. Before the holiday the only food items on the shopping list were those required for my Thanksgiving contributions. And for the cookies that needed to be made as soon as we returned. I provided 107 cookies for a Cookie Drive for the local unaccompanied airmen who will be spending the holidays without their families. The cookies were due on the 3rd so December 1st and 2nd was Operation Cookie in my kitchen. Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing the recipes later this month!

I’ve also been slowed down with a wonderful December cold – which I have unfortunately passed on to my 5 month old. He’s taking it like a champ though and it’s not slowing him down.

And to top it all off my car’s check engine light came on before Thanksgiving and is finally awaiting its “doctor appointment”. Which means I have no means of going to the grocery store. I don’t think Sparrow appreciates the cold.

So I found myself brainstorming what I could possibly do with whatever I had in the fridge. I had some bacon, I had my staple of corn in the freezer, and I always have onions, there was some ricotta cheese left over from the twice baked sweet potatoes, and I had plenty of heavy cream. I also thought I had some jumbo pasta shells so that’s the direction I went. I still had to have Stuart hit the grocery store for a couple finishing ingredients (like more jumbo pasta shells, 7 wasn’t going to cut it, and Parmesan cheese) along with groceries for the rest of the week.

recipe 1

This recipe, I am proud to say, is a Lauren original. And one that turned out quite well, if I say so myself! Loaded with cheese and cream it doesn’t exactly fit on a diet plan, but it’s a wonderful comfort food dish. This filling would also be great in ravioli for a quicker meal. Serve these shells with a side salad for a complete meal. The filling stuffed 14 shells perfectly, and we had 2 left over. So I’d say it feeds 2-3.

An Original Recipe

Bacon and Corn Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips center cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C chicken stock (or white wine if you have it)
  • 1 1/3 C heavy cream
  • 14 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 C whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 C + 1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese, divided use
  • 1 egg, beaten

Steps:

  1. Cook bacon in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When crispy, remove to a paper towel lined plate. Saute onion in bacon grease until translucent. Season with S+P. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 60 seconds. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock (or wine), scrapping up delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a bubble and let reduce, about 3 minutes. Slowly add in the heavy cream, whisking. Reduce the heat and let simmer 7-10 minutes, until reduced. Stir occasionally to prevent from burning.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Cook pasta shells according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. Prepare the filling: In a bowl combine ricotta, corn, 1/4 C Parmesan cheese, and cooked bacon. Season to taste with S+P. Stir in 1 egg.
  5. Spoon a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spoon the filling into the shells when cool enough to handle and place in the casserole dish. Top shells with sauce, reserving 1/2 C for serving and/or leftovers.
  6. Bake shells for 20 minutes. Top with remaining Paremsan and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

shells 2

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s perfect for family dinners and gatherings among friends.

I developed a taste for lasagna in college. My roommate and I would whip up a lasagna for dinner and have leftovers to get us through the busy week. She introduced me to no-boil noodles and they’ve changed the lasagna world for the better!

My recipe for lasagna uses spinach, turkey, onions, and bell peppers. And a combination of mozzarella and ricotta cheeses.

Lasagna Roll Ups 2If you want to elevate your lasagna to fancy presentation status, try these lasagna rolls! Instead of taking advantage of the no-boil noodles, these need to be boiled until they are pliable, a little harder than al dente so as to prevent them from breaking when you roll them.  Because the noodles still get baked they’ll be cooked through by the time you break into them.

We had friends over for dinner when I made these, and their youngest announced that it’s better than pizza. It’s his favorite thing that’s like pizza. (aka we have cheese and tomato sauce) I will take that as a very big compliment.

I took Judy’s suggestion and mixed two different pasta sauces – vodka and marinara. The result? A tastes-like-homemade pasta sauce.

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna Roll Ups

Ingredients:

  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 C shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 jar, 26 oz pasta sauce
  • 1/2 C shredded mozzarella

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles 7-8 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. In a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat saute onion in olive oil. When onions are translucent add garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey, season with S+P, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, 10 minutes or until cooked through. Drain any fat and set aside
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. In a large bowl combine spinach, ricotta, Italian blend cheese. Season to taste with S+P.  Mix in ground turkey. Add the egg and mix.
  5. Pour about 1/2 of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9×13″ casserole dish.
  6.  Place 1/3 – 1/2 C of lasagna filling onto each noodle and roll. Place lasagna roll ups seam side down in prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining pasta sauce and mozzarella.
  7. Bake covered for 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. A knife should go through a roll without resistance.

*This recipe is modified from Judy at http://www.bakeatmidnite.com/2013/11/cheesy-lasagna-rolls.html*

Lasagna Roll Ups