My family loves Italian dishes. Who doesn't? Most people enjoy savoring the pasta, cheeses, sauces, salad and bread. When we are planning to invite guests over for dinner, Italian dishes tend to be the first recipes that come to mind. The main reason I hesitate to serve spaghetti or lasagna or something similar is that those dishes really lack in "presentation". When I've spent time planning and preparing a meal to serve for guests, I like a certain "awe" factor when the meal is served up on plates. Not that I want my guests to admire the cook and sing my praises (though it's nice to hear sometimes.he he), but, let's be honest, when food has a pleasing presentation, they're more apt to enjoy the meal and its flavors.
When I came across this recipe, I was so excited to plan this on our menu. The presentation in the picture was beautiful and I thought it would be perfect for individual servings for a dinner party. Lasagna, a dish typically a mess to serve, rolled into single serve rolls. Genious! The rolls filled with wonderful, tasty cheeses, healthy spinach and prosciutto, are placed atop a creamy, delicious, bechamel sauce and topped with a small amount of marinara sauce. Mmmm!
From the heart of my kitchen to yours, may your experience be fun and the food always flavorful. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 (15 ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
1. To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
3. Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
4. Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.
5. Butter a 13-by-9-by-2 -inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.
Source: Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian