I love lasagna. Well, eating it. Making it, not so much. It’s so tedious, and there are so many steps!
But a few months ago, I saw a recipe for lasagna rolls, and I finally decided to give that a try.
- Lasagna: I think it’s better to use regular lasagna strips and not lasagna sheets. When I ordered groceries, I bought sheets by accident. I had to cut them in half for the recipe.
- Bottled pasta sauce: I don’t know how other people feel about bottled pasta sauce, but I’m a busy woman with a family and a job, and I need all the help I can get! For my first attempt, I used San Remo Tomato and Basil pasta sauce, and for my second attempt I used Bolognese sauce. Both are quite lovely, and they work pretty well straight out of the jar.
- Veggies: Depends on your preferences, really. I love olives and mushrooms, which you can saute in garlic and olive oil if you feel like it, or you can just toss in the dish before baking. This is what I did for my first attempt. For my second attempt, I had leftover zucchini and carrots which I’d julienned, and sauteed in butter and sesame oil for a different dish.
- Bacon: Strips or crumble will work just fine. I think ham, sliced sausages or ground meat would work too.
- Cheese: Does this really need explaining? I love cheese! For this one, I used two different kinds, both from Chizboy: a block of mozzarella, and shredded cheddar.
You’ll notice I mentioned first and second attempts, and that’s because my first one was a mess. Oh, it was delicious, but man it was a mess. As we were eating, we thought about how to improve on what I’d done, and of course I had to make my second attempt just a few days later.
- Boil the lasagna. If you have sheets, like I did, you can snap them in half before boiling. You could also cut them in half after boiling, but you run the risk of the sheet falling apart, which is always annoying.
- Cook the meats. When cooking bacon or sausage, I always prefer baking it instead of frying, so I can also use the juices for the rest of the dish. Oneal likes the bacon a little crunchy, so it’s up to you how long you cook your meats. For my first attempt, I used bacon strips, which were a bit of a challenge to roll with the lasagna. For my second attempt, I used bacon crumble, which made things much easier.
- Roll it up. The tricky part is putting things together. I took a strip of lasagna, sprinkled cheese on the whole length, added bacon, then rolled it up. The first time, I used slices of mozzarella along with the strips of bacon, which made rolling harder. The second time, I used bacon crumble and shredded cheddar cheese, and my life was so much easier. Another option would be to put the pasta sauce inside the lasagna, but I think that would just make rolling much messier.
- Assemble. What made this really messy the first time was that, after rolling the lasagna, I tried to stand it up in the baking dish. Naturally the rolls, already unwieldy with the bacon strips and the thick slices of cheese, unraveled in the dish. The second time, I arranged the rolls like logs, so that they wouldn’t unroll. That worked out much better! Before putting the lasagna rolls in the baking dish though, I poured in some pasta sauce and mozzarella slices. Then I arranged the lasagna like logs, added a slice of mozzarella on each roll, then spooned vegetables, pasta sauce and more bacon crumble on top.
- Bake. I baked everything for about 20 minutes, to get the cheese nice and melty and to give the sauce time to settle in and submerge everything. Of course, serve hot!
This is a surprisingly heavy dish. I think I used much more cheese for my second attempt, so each roll was quite heavy on the stomach. The zucchini and carrots were also a nice touch, adding some crunch and some contrast to the rich sauce and cheese. At the dinner table, we also sprinkled crunchy garlic bits on top or each roll, which made for good variety in terms of texture as well.
I don’t think I’ll be making this too often, but it’s still easier than your usual lasagna!