lasagna rolls

Adapted from recipe by Giada de Laurentiis

This is one of my very favorite recipes.  When I got back into my own kitchen after two weeks of vacation I was ready to tackle it.  It has three parts:

 Part 1: Quick Marinara Sauce (this is good for anything, not just lasagna)

1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes and basil
1/4 c. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. sugar
salt & pepper

Heat the oil and garlic over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute about 12 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and oregano.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Decrease heat to medium and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper.

Part 2: Bechamel Sauce

2 T. butter
4 t. flour
1 1/4 c. half-and-half (or whole milk)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
 pinch of ground nutmeg

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, whisking continuously.  Meanwhile, warm the milk in the microwave for 1 minute.  Whisk in the milk gradually.  Increase the heat to medium-high.  Whisk the sauce until it simmers and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Butter a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish and spread the bechamel sauce over the bottom.

 Part 3: Lasagna Rolls

1 roll Bob Evans zesty hot sausage (I freeze some of this for making homemade pizza)
12 dried lasagna noodles
 1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
 1/3 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach, thawed and sqeezed dry (Be sure it is totally dry or your dish will be soggy)
 1 c. mozzarella cheese
 1 c. parmesan cheese
 1 egg
 3/4 t. salt
 1/2 t. pepper
Preheat oven to 450.  Cook the sausage and set aside on paper towels to remove excess grease.  Cook the lasagna noodles until al dente.  Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet or cutting board to fill them.  In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, spinach, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese, sausage, egg, salt, and pepper.  Spread about 3 T. of the filling evenly over each noodle.  Roll up the noodles and arrange the rolls (seam side down) atop the cream sauce.  Spoon the marinara sauce over the rolls then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake until the rolls are heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake until the cheese is golden, about 15 more minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Serve with extra sauce on the side.

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