Monday, October 22, 2012

Freezer Friendly: Lasagna Roll-Ups

Do you ever have those days where you just do NOT feel like cooking? Believe it or not, we do too. With a busy life of school and starting a business sometimes cooking for ourselves is just the last thing we want to do. However, eating out a lot recently has started to show its side effects on the scale. So in an effort to stay home to eat more, even when we really don’t feel like cooking, it’s time to stock the freezer. It’s the single best way we know to keep us from just going out and one we’ve been doing for years. {Check out our other Freezer Friendly Recipes}

Having food already prepared is part of our business model for Terra Cuisine. We’ve even turned our business name into a verb at our house. For example, “we’re Terra Cuisining ourselves so we can heat and eat!” We get the same benefits that our clients do!

I recently discovered this wonderful recipe! Its portion control, it’s homemade, and it is really delicious! Why go out when in 30-40 min we could be eating these Lasagna Roll-ups? I made a HUGE batch of these and put them in 3 Pyrex dishes for freezing. When we know we’re not going to feel like cooking we just take these out and either let them thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for an hour. Then just pop it in the oven for a bit, add a salad, and dinner is DONE!

The recipe is so simple to make and doesn’t take too much time. I did cut the cheese back on ours a little and they still tasted so delicious! I also substituted Italian sausage (one link of hot and 1 link of mild) in place of the hamburger that the original recipe called for to add more flavor. I forgot to take a picture of the roll ups with sauce and cheese on the top but I did add that before they went into the freezer. Kids would love these and they would even be great for entertaining with. They are like personal little lasagnas! Enjoy!

Lasagna Roll Ups
Recipe Modified from: Cooking Classy
Yields 12

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 lb Italian Sausage (Hot, Mild, or a Combo of both)
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 (15 oz) container Ricotta Cheese
1 large egg
1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley (aka Italian Parsley, its about 1 small handful), chopped
2 1/2 cups freshly grated Mozzarella Cheese, divided
3/4 cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

12 uncooked lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle one tablespoon olive oil into a large non-stick fry pan. Heat over medium high heat, crumble sausage over oil, add chopped onions and cook mixture stirring occasionally and breaking up meat, until browned. Drain fat from sausage. Pour sausage mixture into a food processor and pulse for about 5 seconds until it is ground into fine pieces. Pour sausage mixture back into fry pan and add crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, oregano and 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste then cover with a lid and simmer over low heat while preparing pasta and cheese mixture.

Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water along with 1 tsp salt and 2 tablespoon olive oil to al dente according to directions listed on package. Once noodles are cooked, drain and immediately line noodles in a single layer on waxed paper or cookie sheets.

Prepare cheese mixture (I do this while pasta is cooking) by stirring together Ricotta cheese, egg, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper with a fork in a large mixing bowl until well combine. Stir in chopped fresh parsley. Add in 2 cups grated Mozzarella Cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, stir mixture until well combine.

Stir meat sauce and spread 1/3 cup evenly into a 13x9 inch baking dish by tilting pan back and forth. Spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto each cooked lasagna noodle, then spread 1 heaping tablespoon meat sauce along the top of cheese covered noodle. Roll noodles up jellyroll style and arrange seam side down in baking dish. Cover rolled noodles with remaining meat sauce (about a heaping 1/8 cup over each) then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese evenly over roll ups. Tent lasagna roll ups with foil (don't allow foil to rest on cheese or it will stick you just want to loosely tent to prevent the cheese from browning) and bake for 35 minutes in preheated oven. Serve warm garnished with additional chopped fresh parsley.

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