Monday, January 23, 2012

Meatless Monday: Veggie Lasagna Roll-ups

There is a large part of me that believes that I'm Italian in heritage- although my parents assure me that I am not.  I grew up learning the merits of true tomato sauce and our {large, catholic} family gatherings always had a homemade buffet that read like a trattoria menu.
Perhaps that's why spending a Sunday in the kitchen feels so good to my soul, particularly when I'm laboring on an Italian dish.  Vegetarian Lasagna Roll-ups may not be the traditional fare, but they are certainly one of my most cherished culinary inventions.  I didn't follow a recipe for this one, I cooked from the heart. So, perhaps I am Italian after all, if only as a state-of-mind?

Recipe for Veggie Lasagna Roll-ups

2 small eggplants sliced lengthwise
olive oil
12 lasagna noodles
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 package of baby spinach, approx 5 oz
3/4 cup of sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup of diced yellow onion
2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs slightly beaten
pinch of ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
tomato sauce {I used Newman's organic tomato basil marinara}

1) Lightly oil baking pan and roast eggplants in a 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes, turning about halfway through.
2) Saute onion until translucent, add spinach and cook until wilted. Then add mushrooms and saute together until softened. S&P to taste.
3) Add spinach/mushroom/onion saute to 1 1/2 cup of mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, eggs, nutmeg and S&P to taste
4) Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions, let cool on backing sheets with some oil

5) Start assembling your roll-ups.  Spread tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Spread cheese mixture onto a noodle, layer with a slice of eggplant and then roll. Add extra sauce on the top of noodles before baking.
6) Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Add extra mozzarella cheese to the top and then bake for another 20 minutes.
**cooks note- this recipe makes a large batch and can be frozen beautifully.

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