Tasty ricotta cheese mixture rolled up in pasta and topped with a mouth watering marinara – wow! Lasagna is good any time of year. Making it in rollups gives you the amazing taste of lasagna with less of the preparation time and eliminates the need for a deep lasagna pan.
This recipe uses sweet Italian sausage as the basis for the sauce. It adds the perfect touch to lasagna. If you don’t have any Italian sausage on hand you can easily substitute ground beef. It won’t have the same taste, but it will still be delicious. You will want to add salt and pepper to taste if you use ground beef, in addition to a little anise seed or fennel.
Easy Lasagna Roll-ups Recipe
Ingredients for Easy Lasagna Recipe:
- 1 package lasagna pasta (you will need 10 – 12 lasagna noodles)
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup carrots, diced
- 29 ounce-can tomato puree
- ½ cup red wine
- ¼ cup sugar (or more to taste)
- 2 tsp. basil (or more to taste)
- 2 tsp. oregano (or more to taste)
- 3 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- ½ cup parmesan, shredded
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- Spinach leaves (optional)
- 2 – 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions for making Easy Lasagna Recipe:
In a large heavy pot, cook the pasta according to package directions, but cook it 1 minute less. Put it in a strainer to drain and cool while you’re making the sauce.
In the same large heavy pot, place the sweet Italian sausage, chopped onions, diced carrots, and minced garlic. Crumble it up in the pan as it’s cooking. Cook until the sausage has thoroughly browned. Drain off the fat.
To the sausage mixture, add the tomato puree, red wine, sugar, basil, and oregano. Taste test to balance the spices. Cook covered for 25 minutes.
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the ricotta, egg, nutmeg, and parmesan.
Oil a 9×13 baking dish. Place just a very little of the tomato sauce (marinara) mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Take a full strip of the cooked and cooled lasagna noodle, spread a little of the ricotta mixture over it, roll it up, and place it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with each of the lasagna noodles until the dish is filled with a single layer of the rollups. (If you opt to use spinach leaves, spread the ricotta on a lasagna noodle, put a single layer of the spinach leaves over the ricotta, and rollup. No need to chop it first.)
Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the rolled up lasagna, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella evenly over the lasagna, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it set for 15 minutes prior to serving. Serve warm with a crusty Italian bread or garlic bread.
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