Friday, April 15, 2011

Meatless Lasagna Rolls

These were, stellar.

Honestly, I ate these for 3 days. They just got better each day.

They have all the things I adore about lasagna-only made lighter and quicker.

I served homemade basil bread sticks as a side for this dish. They are a new creation of mine. This was a huge deal for me. I only recently have learned how to deal with yeast breads. I am starting to get more comfortable with them so I decided it was time to experiment.

My favorite part of making the dough is watching the yeast bloom. It's like a little science experiment every time! And the smell, it sends me over the moon every single time. Love it.

I took my basic pizza dough recipe (yeast, water, honey, salt, and flour) and doctored it up with a heaping tablespoon of very finely chopped basil.

Look how pretty the dough is with flecks of basil. It was so aromatic. Definitely a happy smell :)

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Meatless Lasagna Rolls
Serves 6
245 calories per

6 lasagna noodles*
1/4 cup egg beaters OR 1 egg beaten
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
a tiny pinch of ground nutmeg
14 oz meatless spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook lasagna noodles until done- about 10 minutes. Drain and lay flat on a baking dish to cool.

Combine egg, cheeses, spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Score into 6 even sections.

Spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread about 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of the dish. Set aside.

Working with one noodle at a time- scoop out one section of the scored cheese mixture and spread over 2/3 of the pasta, leaving empty space at one end of the noodle.

Starting at the filled end- roll up. Some of the filling will push down the length of the pasta as you roll, this is why you left a space at the end. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles and filling.

Cover with remaining sauce.

Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes.Remove from oven. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

* I used oven ready noodles because they have ridges in them. Just boil up as you normally would in salted water.

Basil Bread Sticks
96 calories per
Makes 12

2 tsp honey
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces), divided
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping TBS of very finely chopped fresh basil
Cooking spray

Dissolve the honey and yeast in 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add basil.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until dough just starts to come together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6-8 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

Punch dough down and divide into 12 balls (about 1 1/2 oz per). Roll into bread stick shapes. Lay onto a baking prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray surface of dough with cooking spray, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Cover with a tea towel. Let rise 20 minutes.

In an oven preheated 375, bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Brush with melted butter if desired.

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