Lasagna doesn’t need to be a major production destined to serve a big crowd. For a quickly prepared intimate dinner, you can roll the noodles and top them with a colorful, slightly sweet Roasted Red Pepper Sauce that only takes about 5 minutes to make. The final result looks as gorgeous as it tastes.
Find out how to make this quick lasagna, here:
8 lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups stemmed and finely shredded spinach, preferable baby spinach
2 1/2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
2 carrots, finely shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-ounce carton ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (see below)
Sprigs of fresh basil for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the spinach, mushrooms, carrots, onion, and garlic. Cooks, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the ricotta cheese, Parmesan, basil, salt, and pepper.
3. When the noodles are done, drain well. Rinse with cool water and drain again. Place the noodles on a flat surface and spread each with about 3 rounded tablespoons of the filling. Roll up each noodle and place seam-side down in a lightly oiled 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish. (At this point, the lasagna rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
4. Spread the sauce over the lasagna rolls. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. (Or arrange lasagna rolls with sauce in a microwaveable dish; heat in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes, turning halfway through, or until rolls are heated.)
5. Garnish the lasagna rolls with basil sprigs and serve.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
1 cup drained and coarsely chopped, store-bought roasted red bell peppers, or 2 freshly roasted red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or to taste
14/cup Shiraz or other full-bodied, ripe-jammy red wine
Process all the sauce ingredients, except the wine, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan. Stir in the wine. Simmer, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
Adapted from The Spirited Vegetarian, by Paulette Mitchell (Rodale Press, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Paulette Mitchell. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from The Spirited Vegetarian, by Paulette Mitchell (Rodale Press, 2005).