Lasagna Rolls

12 Sep

Print the recipe page!  lasagna rolls

The two winning ingredients in these lasagna rolls are the copy cat ricotta cheese and the Barilla brand no-boil lasagna noodles.  The ricotta cheese is a result of me tweaking around in the kitchen and {somewhat accidentally} creating a clone of something I like to cook with often.  The no-boil noodles are ideal because they’re “sturdy” enough to roll the filling into while still having the delicate texture of fresh pasta we like.

My whole family loves this meal plus it’s an easy one to make in the sun oven.  My 13 year old even asks for it specifically so he can have the leftovers in his lunch the next day!

serves 6-8

Ingredients:

16 no-boil lasagna noodles (1 box, Barilla brand *see note)

1 jar spaghetti sauce

2 1/2 cups freeze dried sausage crumbles

1 1/2 cup warm water

1/2 – 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Pantry made “ricotta style” cheese

4 cups water

2 cans evaporated milk

3 tsp. Citric Acid powder (see notes for where to buy this)

3 cups powdered milk

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

Tools and Supplies:

a thermometer

cheese cloth

sun oven baking dishes (*see note)

Instructions:

Preheat the sun oven if using one.  Rehydrate the sausage crumbles in warm water 15-20 minutes, draining when finished.  Meanwhile, prepare the ricotta style cheese.  Set cheese aside.  Pour 6 cups boiling water into a 9 x 13 pan and slip the noodles into the pan one by one.  Let the noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating (if needed) with the tip of a knife to prevent sticking.  Remove the noodles from the water and place in a single layer on clean kitchen towels.  Spread 1/2 cup more sauce (more if you’re using a single larger pan) on the bottom of each baking dish.  Layer cheese then spaghetti sauce then sausage crumbles on each noodle and roll the noodle up around the filling, laying seam side down in the baking dish.  Spoon the remaining sauce over the rolled noodles and top with grated parmesan cheese.  Stacking the sun oven baking dishes, bake at 300 degrees (or there about) for 1 hour or until all is heated through.

Making the cheese:

In a large pot add 4 cups of water and one can of evaporated milk. To this add 3 cups powdered milk and whisk until completely combined. Heat milk to 140 degrees and add 2 tsp. citric acid powder. You should immediately see curds beginning to form in the milk. After a few minutes, strain mixture through a cheese cloth lined colander sitting over top of a bowl to catch the liquid. Reserve this liquid for later step. Allow the cheese to cool and then using the cheese cloth squeeze out the remaining liquid from the cheese. Set cheese ball aside in a dish. Take the remaining liquid from the first strain, still very milky, and heat it on the stove to 140 degrees. Add 1/4 tsp. at a time of citric acid powder until milk curds develop — for me this second batch required 1 tsp. of citric acid to curd. Strain this mixture through the cheese cloth lined colander as you did the first, allow it to cool and then squeeze out remaining liquid. Now as you look at your liquid it should be purely whey, not milky at all. This liquid can be used if wanted in bread or other recipes.

Break up the two cheese balls using a fork and mix in the other can of evaporated milk until it’s a consistency that you like. Add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and 1/4 tsp. salt (to taste).

First strain…

Second round of cheese curdling. Heat milk to 140 degrees. Then add 1/4 tsp at a time of citric acid (you definitely don’t want to add too much) until the milk immediately curds. For me it required 1 tsp citric acid.

You can see the difference in the liquid against the curds this second time — it’s not milky any more.

Finished cheese balls

Break up cheese using a fork. You’ll have a crumbly cheese ready to be made into cheese filling.

Add evaporated milk, parmesan cheese and salt.

The finished product…

Soaking the Lasagna Noodles…

Layering and rolling…

Getting ready to bake.  The bottom dish doesn’t need it’s lid since I’ll be stacking the other dish right on top of it.

The sun oven the temperature was at 300 and the meal baked for an hour.  You’re really not doing anything more than heating it through and allowing the flavors to simmer together.

To serve, I sprinkled it with a little dried italian seasoning and there you go.  It’s time for dinner and everyone at my house is very happy.  I like that!

Notes:  

  • Over the past year I’ve made this ricotta many times over sharing it at the classes I teach and have gotten rave reviews from everyone who’s tried it.  You won’t be able to tell any difference using it in a recipe like this, I promise!  This recipe pops up a few other places here one the blog too.  You’ll also see it in the Homemade Cheese Ravioli and the Crab and Ricotta Cannelloni recipes.
  • There’s a discount until going on through Sun Oven International (until Sept. 30th) if you’re in the market to buy either a sun oven or the accessories (including the stacking pots I used here).  The discount codes and details can be found in last week’s post (click here).  Other than that, in shopping independently for sun oven cookware you want it to be “thin” and “black” to get the best results.  I’ve found bake ware options that have worked in the sun oven in all kinds of places by watching for those two things.
  • I went with Barilla’s brand of no-boil noodles because they were preferred above the others in an America’s Test Kitchen taste test.  Soaking the noodles this way helps to keep the noodles from retaining too much moisture and becoming soggy.  Regular lasagna noodles also could be an option, though it would take a bit longer to boil them and require more water.  Homemade pasta is very fragile and difficult to roll resulting in more frustration than anything — I personally wouldn’t use it here although you could probably use the homemade cannelloni noodle recipe if you wanted to try that.
  • Another delicious variation of this recipe would be to use an alfredo styled sauce, shredded chicken (instead of sausage), pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes in the filling.

***

In my book this recipe is used as a:

*Long Term Recipe

*3 month meal

*Sun Oven Meal

3 Responses to “Lasagna Rolls”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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