Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On a Roll

Turkey Artichoke Lasagne Rolls
What should be on the dinner menu for a cold December night? Stews, soups, and hearty meat dishes are frequent stars of my winter meal rotation. I also have a soft spot for lasagne. It's a fabulous one-dish meal full of veggies and lots of melted cheese - the kind of cold-weather meal that warms you from the inside out. The problem with lasagne when cooking for two, however, is the leftovers. I have no problem with some leftovers, but eating increasingly old pasta for days on end is not an appetizing prospect. Lasagne rolls are the perfect solution to an over-production of this delicious Italian staple . . . make a couple dozen or make just a few! This is a great and flexible recipe to make for a large family or a cozy winter couple.

- 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 3 c. simple marinara sauce 
- 1 lb. ricotta cheese
- 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 lb. grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Italian parsley, minced
- 6 green onions, trimmed and diced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 7 oz. canned artichoke hearts (drained and diced)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 10 dried lasagne noodles

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and heat oven to 400˚F. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare ground turkey and ricotta cheese filling for lasagne.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add turkey, sprinkle with poultry seasoning, garlic powder, dried thyme, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook the turkey until it turns brown, breaking meat apart with a wooden spoon. When the turkey was cooked through, remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, half the grated mozzarella, half the grated Parmesan, diced onions, egg, nutmeg, minced parsley, artichoke hearts, and dried basil. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

When the water is brought to a rolling boil, cook the lasagne noodles for 10-12 minutes until they are soft, but slightly al dente in the middle. Drain completely. Line baking sheets with wax paper and carefully arrange the lasagne noodles in a single layer on the wax paper. (Carefully as they will be hot - it might help to handle them with small silicon tongs.)

Prepare a 13" oval baking dish with a spritz of cooking spray and then spread the bottom with 1/4 c. of marinara sauce. 

To prepare the lasagne rolls, spread 1 Tbsp. of marinara sauce across each lasagne noodle. On one end, spread a dollop of the cheese mixture over half the length of the noodle, sprinkle over with cooked ground turkey. (Divide the fillings up equally between each lasagne roll.)

Carefully roll each lasagne noodle up starting with the filled side. Gently transfer to the prepared baking dish with the open side down. Lay the lasagne rolls snugly side by side into the baking dish.

When the lasagne rolls are all placed in the dish, cover with the remaining marinara sauce and then sprinkle and cover thoroughly with the remaining grated cheeses. 

Place the baking dish on top of a foil-lined cookie sheet before placing in the oven. Bake in the heated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly on top.

Allow lasagne rolls to rest 5-10 minutes before serving. I suggest serving alongside a good quality bread and a big ol' glass of wine! Yum.

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