Gayle McLeod | March 4, 2015
Lasagna rolls filled with creamy ricotta, mozzarella cheese and chopped kale, then smothered in bolognese sauce and of course, more cheese. Lighter than a traditional layered lasagna and, in our opinion, more fun to make. This recipe is so flexible, it just might end up on your weekly menu more than once.
10 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 tsp olive oil
1 500g container of Ricotta Cheese
1 340g ball of Mozzarella cheese, grated and divided
1 bunch of kale, or well-drained frozen spinach
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
1 container Bolognese Sauce, thawed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Remove the tough stems from the kale, and blanch in the boiling water for just 30 seconds (do not dump out the water: you will use it to cook the lasagna noodles). Remove the kale with tongs and immediately put into a ice bath or into a colander and run under cold water. Drain well and wrap up the kale in a kitchen towel to squeeze out as much excess water as possible. * Make Ahead: this step can be done up to two days in advance, simply wrap the drained kale in some paper towels to absorb the moisture then place inside a container in the fridge. You could also use chopped frozen spinach - thaw completely, drain well and squeeze out the excess moisture before using.
Add the olive oil to the boiling water and cook the lasagna noodles to al dente according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and immediately lay them in a single layer on cookie sheets or parchment paper.
While the noodles are cooking, make the filling: Chop enough kale to make 1 cup - if you have kale left over; reserve it to add to other dishes like soup, scrambled eggs or salads. In a medium bowl, combine the following ingredients; kale, Ricotta cheese, eggs, oregano, mozzarella cheese (reserve one cup for topping the lasagne). Season well with salt & pepper and mix throughly.
Spoon the filling onto the noodles and spread out evenly. Gently roll up the noodles and set aside, seam side down. * Make Ahead: cover and refrigerate the roll-ups overnight or freeze individually on a cookie sheet to use at a later time.
When ready to cook, assemble the lasagna: you can choose to cook all the roll-ups together in a large baking dish, or use two or three loaf pans. Spread a thin layer of Bolognese sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, then arrange the roll-ups seam side down on the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce evenly over the roll-ups, then top with the reserved 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the lower third of a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the lasagna is hot and the cheese is melted. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly if you are cooking the roll-ups right away or from the fridge.
Once the lasagna is done, remove it from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Top with finely chopped fresh basil or parsley, if desired.
Note: This recipe will handle substitutions well... try different cheeses like Provolone or Romano; add sautéed mushrooms to the filling or use your favourite pasta sauce.