Recently I saw a picture with a recipe attached shared on Facebook. The picture immediately caught my eye and after looking at the recipe I knew for a fact that I could make them even better by using my imagination and disregarding the recipe! Tonight I made them for dinner with some input from my children as to what they would like theirs to contain. I made these from start to table in just over an hour.
I started by getting a large pot of salted water boiling and cooked 5 sheets of dried lasagna noodles at a time. While cooking the noodles I finished prepping the rest of my ingredients. I mixed 1 pound of ricotta cheese with a large egg (beaten lightly) and a little bit grated pecorino cheese. I then sliced several fresh off the vine tomatoes. Diced a handful of garlic cloves. Chopped up some spinach, diced a red pepper and an onion as well as some parsley and basil. Once my noodles were cooked al dente I removed them from the pot and layed them flat on a cutting board. Then the fun part began!
Alex requested his to have a clam sauce filling so I sauteed some of the diced garlic in olive oil along with the diced red pepper and onion. I added some clam juice along with chopped clams and a pinch of dried thyme and a diced fresh tomato. I seasoned it with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and let it simmer down till the liquid had reduced and what remained was nice and thick! I then took it off the stove and sprinkled in some fresh chopped parsley. I let the clam sauce cool while I coated each noodle with the ricotta mixture. Next I sprinkled mozzarella cheese and spooned the clam sauce down the center of each noodle and finished with a light sprinkle of pecorino.
Clams and Peppers and Onions, Oh my!
Ariel requested that I make hers like a margherita pizza. Once again I coated the noodles with a layer of ricotta, a sprinkle of mozzarella fresh basil (mine was frozen from last years garden) and finished with a layer of thinly sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of pecorino.
As beautiful as the Italian flag
The last ones were my idea. I use to make a veggie lasagna when I was a chef for a living and everyone use to rave when I would put in a layer of my seasoned chopped spinach. So I figured if it works in a pan why not in a roll! I sauteed the chopped spinach with olive oil and garlic. I seasoned it with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Once it was all cooked I placed it in a strainer to get some of the liquid out. Once again I coated the noodle with ricotta and mozzarella. Next I added the spinach and finished by adding more shredded mozzarella!
Once all the filling was in place I rolled them into pinwheels making sure to tuck any of the filling back in from the side if it started to fall out. I placed them in my favorite deep sided baking pan and coated them with my homemade sauce that I always have on hand for pasta.
After the cheese had melted I placed the pan on the counter for 10 minutes to allow the filling to set and make them the perfect temperature for serving and eating!
I hope you are inspired to make this meal yourself and fill it with whatever your taste buds desire!