The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Lasagna Rolls: Food Network top ten recipes in 2008 January 3, 2009

Filed under: Holiday,Italian,Pasta,Proscuitto,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 1:39 pm
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lasagna-rolls-final

According to a Food Network web article, this was one of the Top 10 recipes of 2008!  After making it and getting rave reviews I can certainly see why!  This was delicious and although somewhat time consuming, simple to make.  The béchamel sauce was the most time consuming part and next time I’ll probably substitute marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan instead.  That will cut down on a lot of the prep time and I think it’ll taste just as good.  The recipe makes 12 rolls will should be enough to serve 6 people (2 each).  I served it with a side salad.

Source:  Foodnetwork.com Giada de Laurentiis Episode: Italian Fast Food

Sauce: 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour 
1 1/4 cups whole milk 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
Pinch ground nutmeg

Lasagna: 

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese (I used part skim ricotta) 
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry 
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan 
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped 
1 large egg, beaten to blend 
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil 
12 uncooked lasagna noodles 
2 cups marinara sauce 
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)

 

1.  To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.

2.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

3.  Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

4.  Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

5.  Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. I used high heat non-stick spray.  Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll.

lasagna-rollups1

 

6.  Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the béchamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.

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Baked Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil November 28, 2008

stuffed-chicken

This is an easy to-prepare dish that looks and takes fabulous.  The original recipe calls to grill the chicken but I prefer to bake it so I’ve included the baking instructions here.  To save on cutting time and costs, I used a 3 cheese Italian blend which is also much easier to work with than fresh mozzarella.  I served the chicken with fried okra but it would be great with a caesar salad or maybe a light pasta side?     

Adapted from:  Fine Cooking

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1.5 pounds)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 large basil leaves

1/4 Lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (I used 3 cheese Italian blend, pre-shredded)

4 thin slices prosciutto (should be long enough to wrap all the way around the chicken breasts)

1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 375.

2.  Cut through each chicken breast horizontally almost all the way through and open it like a book. Sprinkle the chicken all over with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper (total for 1.5 pounds chicken).  Layer the basil and mozzarella evenly on half of each breast and then fold it closed.  Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each breast to hold it closed and then brush lightly on both sides with the olive oil.

3.  Bake on foil lined sheet for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

 

Triple-Tomato Pasta September 17, 2008

Filed under: Italian,Pasta,Proscuitto,Quick dinners — xigumdrops @ 7:19 pm
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I’m always looking for fast recipes and this recipe was included in the 30 best fast recipes ever in the Food & Wine 30th Anniversary Issue.  It’s really fast and was definitely tasty.  I added prosciutto but I think it would be great with chunks of chicken.  Changes in green.

Source:  Food & Wine Magazine

1 pound pasta

2 medium tomatoes, diced  (1 can diced tomatoes, drained)

4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

2 Tbs. tomato paste

4 large basil leaves

1 garlic clove

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2.5 oz. prosciutto, chopped

 

1.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente.

2.  In a blender, puree the diced and sun-dried tomatoes with the tomato paste, basil, garlic and olive oil.  Pour the sauce into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.

3.  Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce (add prosciutto) and toss well to coat.  Serve piping hot.