Cooking

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Considering that this meal was created from spare ingredients in less than an hour, it looks surprisingly good.

So there we were, on a Saturday night. It was already 5:00 and I’d given zero thought to dinner. So I polled the boys. The Tiny Kitchen Assistant requested pasta. My husband groaned. “It’s Saturday night,” he said. “I don’t want a quickie, throwaway dinner.”

I was more than a little bit annoyed because maybe, just maybe, I didn’t feel like cooking on this particular Saturday night. But I pulled it together, got a little bit creative and made lasagna roll-ups with ingredients that I had on hand.

Ingredients

  • Lasagna noodles (the kind you have to cook)
  • Packaged alfredo sauce (similar to my homemade bechamel, but with more parmesan and probably more cream)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package sliced salami (because I happened to have it in the fridge)
  • 1 package sliced light provolone
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • 1 batch of my simple pasta sauce
  • Grated parmesan cheese for serving
Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Drain.

While the noodles are cooking:

  1. Prepare simple pasta sauce.
  2. In a separate pan, cook ground beef, breaking into small clumps. When the beef is browned, add 1/2 to 1 cup of pasta sauce to beef and allow to simmer on low while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Grate the mozzarella cheese.
  4. Rip provolone slices into quarters.

When the noodles are ready, lay three noodles out on a clean cutting board. Swipe one end of each noodle — about 1/3 of the noodle surface — with a spoonful of alfredo/bechamel. Layer two salami slices on the alfredo/bechamel, then a few spoonfuls of the ground beef. Top that with a quarter slice of provolone.

On the full end of the noodle, the layers will be noodle/alfredo/salami/beef/provolone.

Gently roll the full end of the noodle back onto itself, trying to keep as much of the filling intact as possible (easier said than done). The roll-up will self-seal itself thanks to the stickiness of starchy pasta on pasta.

Lay the roll seam side down in the baking dish. When the dish is full, cover with the remaining pasta sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese begins to bubble.

Then again, maybe they look good because my photographer does a much better job than I do.

Results

The Tiny Kitchen Assistant was delighted to have the pasta that he wanted. My husband was so thrilled by the uniqueness of the meal that he served as my fancy photographer. Maybe I should give him this job every day?

It takes a little while, but it's delicious.

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