Thursday, November 16, 2006

Spinach and Proscuitto Lasagna Rolls with Bechamel Sauce

First, let me first apologize for not writing all week. I was away the first part of the week at a conference, and then the second part of the week I was forced to play catch up at work for being out of the office. I'm sorry, but the good news is that I don't have to go anywhere this weekend so I can cook all day and night if I want.

Second, let me apologize for not having one single picture of this completed dish. I took some pictures as I was assembling the dish, but once it came out of the oven it was literally devoured and before I knew it there was none left and I hadn't taken a picture. Sorry. But the above picture does a really good job of showing how the lasagna rolls are lined up in the dish over the b├ęchamel sauce, before they are covered with marinara sauce and cheese. I really enjoy this dish, because it is so easy to serve, you simply take one roll or two and put it on the plate, no cutting or trying to maneuver the first piece out.

This is a recipe from Giada's Family Dinners cookbook. I still have no idea how that woman is so skinny.

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
Pinch ground nutmeg

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)

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.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
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.

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 bechamelsauce 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.


Anonymous said...

The unfinished picture is making me drool! I have tried a few of Giada's recipes -- and enjoyed all of them.

When I cook something like that, my rolls never look that neat!

Looks fanatastic. Happy cooking.

wheresmymind said...

I can't believe how many teeth she has!

wheresmymind said...

I can't believe how many teeth she has!