We are meat eaters around here. Ninety-nine percent of our dinners include some form of chicken, fish, pork, or beef. Every once in a while though, I want something that doesn't have meat. The problem is that while a plate of vegetables can be delicious, I find that within an hour or so I feel like I need to eat again. I need protein. I've been thinking about making some lasagna roll ups, but ironically, I felt like they were TOO meaty for dinner. I don't like to feel stuffed after I eat, especially at night. But, they do have lots of cheese in them, so I decided to give them a try. I looked at about a dozen different recipes before I came up with my version. I lightened up the cheese and added spinach and artichokes. Pretty good I think. So did the family. Here's what you'll need:
- 10 uncooked lasagna noodles
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 24 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 C ricotta cheese
- 3 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 1/2 C marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 egg
- 1/2 C basil pesto
- 1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
Cook the lasagna noodles to al dente according to package directions.
When they’re ready, remove them from the water and lay them out on a piece of parchment paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Do not rinse the cooked noodles.
In a sauce pan, sauté the onion in a little olive oil until caramelized.
Add in 2/3 of the garlic and stir cooking for a couple of minutes until the garlic is cooked. Add the red pepper flakes.
Add the sugar, tomato sauce and 1/2 of the pesto and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. Add the egg and mix.
Add the pesto and stir to combine.
Now stir in the parmesan.
Next add the spinach and mix well. Make sure to squeeze the spinach as dry as you can before you add it into the mixture.
Now add the chopped artichokes and the rest of the garlic and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of your casserole pan.
Take 1 cooked noodle and add 1/3 C of the cheese mixture to the middle.
Spread the mixture evenly across the noodle in a thin layer.
Starting at one end, roll the noodle gently over the mixture to the other end.
Place the rolled noodle, seam side down, in the casserole on top of the tomato sauce.
Repeat with the remaining noodles and cheese mixture. After all the noodles are rolled, pour the tomato sauce over the top.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly.