Skillet Spinach Ricotta Lasagne Roll-Ups

The Italians would be furious.

‘Why modify a perfectly good lasagne recipe?’, you posit as you read the recipe title. ‘Why mess with perfection?’, you ponder as you scroll through this post. ‘What were you hoping to achieve with this?’, you ask confusedly as the concept just doesn’t sit right with you.

You once again analyse the words in title.
skillet: you’re not sure how different it is from a frying pan but you understand they’re basically the same thing
spinach ricotta: green leafy vegetables and soft white cheese (I make mine at home, watch my YouTube video to find out how!)
lasagne roll-ups: now this is where the hang up occurs. Lasagne, rolled up and what does this have to do with the skillet?

Well friends, instead of sandwiching the spinach ricotta filling in between layers of lasagne pasta, we’re rolling up the sheets and baking them in skillet. Just to switch things up, keep ya on your toes, y’know?

Whilst I have desecrated the sanctity of the lasagne (and for that I shall light a candle at the Pastafarian temple) but this is beyond worth it. It shakes things up and adds a little twist so it feels like you’re deviating from the norm, however, the same flavour and simplicity of the original is preserved so you’re doing something different without actually making any grand, sweeping changes. I know I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut due to the prolonged COVID restrictions in the United States (more on that later), and so this is for the ones who feel unmotivated to try new things but want to dig themselves out of the rut.

Skillet Spinach Ricotta Lasagne Roll-Ups

Ingredients:

  • ½ a yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • a handful of fresh rosemary
  • a handful of fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup other white cheeses (I used a mixture of Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina and Mozzarella), grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup spinach (scalded, throw the spinach in a colander and pour boiling water over it until fully wilted)
  • 12 sheets of lasagne, cooked according to package instructions

Method:

  1. Start by making your marinara sauce. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large cast-iron pot on high heat and fry the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fresh basil, rosemary and thyme, cooking for about 2 minutes until garlic and herbs are fragrant, making sure to stir frequently. Season with salt and pepper before throwing in the tinned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, seasoning again with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the ricotta, ¾ cup of the white cheeses, egg and spinach in a large bowl. Throw in a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk again. The mixture should be spreadable but if too thick then add a dash of milk until loose enough to spread. Set aside.
  3. Time to throw it all together! Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Ladle enough of the marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the skillet, leaving some to spoon over the top of the lasagne roll-ups.
    Now comes the fun part: dollop 2 tbsp of the mixture onto one of the lasagne sheets and use a spoon to cover the surface of the pasta. Roll the sheet up from the bottom to the top and lay the rolled pasta seam-side down in the skillet. Repeat until you’ve used up all the lasagne sheets (or all of the cheese mixture, whichever comes first but try to ration so you don’t end up with leftovers, I used about 2 tbsp of cheese mix per pasta roll).
    Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the rolled up pasta sheets and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of white cheeses over the top. Bake in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes and the cheese topping is deep golden brown. Top with fresh herbs, serve piping hot and enjoy!

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