Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups, found over at Cooking Classy. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was my choice. I do not have the slightest clue where I found the recipe. Probably on Pinterest or maybe someone linked to it on Facebook. It’s a mystery! I just thought it sounded interesting (I like lasagna!) and not too difficult.
First, we make our marinara sauce.
Ingredients: crushed tomatoes, chopped onion (I chopped it after I snapped the picture, obv), olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over med-high heat. When the oil’s hot, add your onions and saute ’til they’re soft (3 minutes or so), adding garlic in the last minute of sauteing. Pour in crushed tomatoes and add salt and garlic to taste.
Bring the mixture just to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 25 – 30 minutes to let the sauce thicken. This will give you a chance to prepare everything else so you won’t be standing around reading your refrigerator magnets for entertainment.
Old Southern men (ie, MY HUSBAND) can get awfully chatty when you’re trying to concentrate on a recipe. JUST SAYIN’.
Your filling ingredients: freshly shredded mozzarella, ricotta, 1 lg egg white (in that red bowl over to the right that looks like it’s water), Parmesan, black pepper, 3 – 4 thinly sliced medium Roma tomatoes (you need a total of 24 slices; about 1/6 inch thick), chopped fresh basil.
Note: The original recipe called for freshly shredded Parmesan. Wait, what? I’m supposed to shred the Mozzarella AND the Parmesan? This illustrates my thought on THAT:
Preheat your oven to 350. Cook the lasagna noodles according to directions on the package to al dente. (Just a note, the instructions on my lasagna noodles didn’t say nothin’ ’bout no al dente. It just said “Cook this shit for 10 minutes!”, so I did.)
Drain the pasta and align lasagna noodles in a single layer on a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Another note here: I actually cooked 10 lasagna noodles instead of 8, because I know what a klutz I am, and I was afraid I’d end up tearing a noodle and then I’d have a hissy fit, and I didn’t have enough energy to fully throw myself fully into a hissy fit, so I thought I’d rather be safe than sorry.
While the noodles are cooking and the marinara is bubbling, mix your ricotta cheese and egg white, then stir in the Parmesan, 12 ounces of the Mozzarella, and season with black pepper.
If you wanted to take that bowl into the other room and just eat straight from it, no one would blame you. At ALL. SO FREAKIN’ GOOD.
Here are my cooked lasagna noodles, waiting to be filled, my bowl of filling, and my 9×13 baking dish with about half a cup of marinara spread on the bottom. Here’s the thing: the recipe called for an 11×7 baking dish, and I don’t have one of those. I also wasn’t about to go out and buy one. So I had to make do. Use what you’ve got, folks.
Place 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle (I used my fingers (THEY WERE CLEAN) to spread it evenly over the length of the noodle), then align 4 tomato slices on each noodle, and then sprinkle basil atop that.
Now here’s where I became an asshole slacker. You roll up the lasagna noodles, and then lay them in the dish, seam side down. Top each roll with about 2 Tablespoons of the pasta sauce, and then sprinkle the top with the rest of your Mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes. I didn’t get pictures of ANY of that stuff. But rest assured that the rolling and the placing of the roll ups in the baking pan went smoothly and I had no problems at all.
However, when all my roll ups were rolled up and put in the pan, I realized that I had cheese filling and two lasagna noodles left (remember when I cooked two extra noodles just in case?) So I went ahead and made two more noodles (I even had extra tomatoes on hand!), so instead of 8 roll ups, I had 10. Didn’t take pictures of that, either, but this is what it looked like after:
The verdict? They were good! I mean, come on – you put that much cheese in anything, it’s gotta be good. Fred thought they were good, too, but complained that there was no kind of meat in the filling.
Will I make them again? Maybe. They were more work than I like to do, EVER, but they were certainly tasty and not very difficult. If someone else were going to make them, I’d probably request them regularly.
Yup, I sure did put those pasta noodles into the pot before the water was even boiling. I am such a renegade.
Now we’re cooking with gas!
Except we’re not because my stove is electric. That’s just one of those phrases that my husband likes to say. I have no idea what it even means. Sometimes he says it and if I’m in a certain mood it makes me want to scratch his eyes out. Please don’t make me try to explain why. Just know that if your husband does not have a quirk that at times annoys the living shit out of you, your marriage is truly blessed.
And also note: No wooden spoon laying over the top of the pan. I’m living dangerously, Robyn!
The recipe said that the noodles should not be rinsed. I have no idea why, but I do know that these fuckers were HOT and burned my hands when I was laying them out on the wax paper. I may have cussed more than usual. In my head. Because I am a lady.
Yeah, even I laughed out loud at that one.
I decided to use my mom’s new stainless steel pan to make my marinara sauce. Apparently I have a death wish.
No, these are not crushed tomatoes. I had to improvise.
This is only the second time I have used the immersion blender that I just HAD to have. Thank God I bought it on clearance or I would be really pissed off at myself. Now I’m just mildly annoyed because I forgot I had it and I could have been using it when I was making a cake instead of dealing with a hand mixer and beaters.
I also improvised with the basil and the parmesan cheese. The roma tomatoes were exactly like you would imagine tomatoes to be in the middle of winter when you do not live in the south. Ahem.
I just added my basil to the cheese mixture since it was gooshy as opposed to ribbony (I don’t even know what that word means when it comes to basil).
Assembly took a little longer, but it wasn’t rocket science.
Sprinkle cheese and bake.
It ended up looking like this when it was all said and done. My mother said that it reminded her of vegetarian lasagna. No shit. It had no meat. I was unimpressed because it was a lot of work for what is just a meatless and twee lasagna.
Felina, however, cleaned her plate. I bet she’s just showing off because she thinks she’s the only dog in the world that likes tomatoes. I got news for you, Felina – tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable. I bet you didn’t even know that, ya silly dog. Joke’s on you!
My plans changed and I never got a chance to work on the site this weekend like I thought I would. We’re probably going to be working on it whenever possible this week. Ugh. Send me more time if you have any extra!
- 8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
- 14 oz freshly shredded, low-moisture part skim Mozzarella cheese, divided
- ¾ cup Ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg white
- ⅓ cup freshly, finely shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1¼ oz)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 - 4 medium Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (about ⅙ inch thick slices)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup marinara sauce, recipe follows
- Simple Marinara Sauce
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil (Robyn used regular virgin)
- ¼ c. finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- salt and black pepper to taste
- First, make your marinara:
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan; add onions and saute until onions are soft, 2 - 3 minutes. Add garlic in the last minute of sauteing. Pour in crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 25 - 30 minutes; sauce will thicken. Prepare pasta and filling while sauce is cooking. (You can freeze or refrigerate leftover sauce for future use.)
- Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain pasta (don't rinse) and align noodles in a single layer on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta and egg white. Stir in Parmesan. Mix in 12 ounces of Mozzarella and season with pepper to taste.
- Place ¼ c. of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle and spread evenly. Use your clean fingers; no one will know! Place 4 thin tomato slices over the cheese mixture, then sprinkle basil atop that.
- Roll up lasagna noodles. Spread about ¼ cup marinara in the bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish (Robyn used a 9x13 dish). Place lasagna roll ups, seam side down, in dish. Top each roll up with 2 T of marinara (covering all visible pasta so it won't dry out). Sprinkle top with remaining 2 ounces of shredded Mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle pasta with plenty of basil ribbons if that's your sort of thing; serve.