Italian food, or my version of Italian (red sauce, pasta, and cheese), is a weekly occurrence in our house.
Dustin comes from a long legacy of Scottish Kin. Kilt-wearing, bagpipe-playing, Haggis-eating. I sometimes wonder if there was a mix-up at birth between an Italian and Scottish family. This man loves his red sauce and pasta! If it’s covered in red sauce and cheese he will eat it. He is seriously Italian at heart. Hence a weekly “Italian night.”
In the early days of our marriage, our dinners consisted of spaghetti and sauce or some variation nearly every night, except chicken and rice nights. This had more to do with the lack of culinary ability I possessed than Dustin’s great love for Italian. There isn’t much that can go wrong when you open a jar of spaghetti sauce and a package of noodles. Fool-proof cooking at its finest. Life has come a long way in eight years of marriage.
We still eat our weekly Italian but today it’s homemade with real ingredients fresh from my kitchen. So much better than the jar of pasta sauce and noodles we once called “dinner.”
In honor of my Italian-loving, kilt-wearing Scottish husband I bring you this dish. A favorite in our house: Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups. Tucked inside these delicious roll-ups you’ll find loads of green veggies, spinach and broccoli, mixed with cheese and a homemade sauce to top it all off! Of course, you’re welcome to use a good canned sauce, too. No judgment here.
The perfect dish for any night.
Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 1 TB butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 TB chopped fresh basil divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 cups fresh spinach
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
- 15 oz whole milk cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
- 2 TB chopped fresh parsley
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 1/4 cups spaghetti sauce
- Cook noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain the water once cooked. Run the noodles under cold water. Lay the noodles out on kitchen towels.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Melt the butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until translucent. Add 1 tablespoon of basil and the thyme to the shallots and cook for a minute. Add the broccoli and cook until slightly soft (4 minutes.) Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and continue to cook until wilted (2-3 minutes.)
- Turn off the heat and set the skillet to the side.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cottage or ricotta cheese, parsley, 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, salt, pepper, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, egg, and a pinch of nutmeg. Add the broccoli mixture from the skillet to the bowl. Set aside.
- Spoon 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 13×9 pan.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella cheese and greens mixture on each lasagna noodle and roll up.
- Add the lasagna roll ups to the pan and top with the remaining spaghetti sauce. Top the sauce with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Cook the roll ups for 25-30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted. You can turn on the broiler the last minute or two to give the cheese a “crusty” look and taste.
- Serve warm.