Diary of a Non-Cook: Lasagna Roll-Ups

When a Pin just sticks with you…

Rolling up lasagna noodles just seems fun, which is why I probably always remember seeing this pin or one similar to it. Or there are just that many inundating Pinterest. I’d been craving the taste of lasagna and I knew J’s little bro would be over for dinner soon, so I thought I’d give Lasagna Roll-Ups a whirl.

via Cooking Classy

This pin lead me to Cooking Classy, which is a food blog written by Jaclyn. Please take a peek at her website, she has plenty of things to peruse. As I do for all of my ‘Diary of a Non-Cook’ posts, I will post the ingredients, but I’d ask you to visit her pin or website for the directions. She created this, so she should really get the love. I’m just sharing my experience in trying to make this or creating another episode of #NailedIt!

I did have a mini-fail to start with. In the Pinterest app, they show you a list of ‘ingredients’ for the recipe. So instead of following the pin to the website, I used that list. Well, it wasn’t the entire list of actual ingredients that CC has listed. Also, I completely spaced on grabbed the can of tomatoes on my first trip to the store. AND of course, I decided against the parsley. I don’t think that’s anything I’ll ever buy to add to something…

4 Tbsp olive oil, divided // Had at home
8 oz lean ground beef // Had at home, used TJ’s lean ground turkey
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion // Bought at Safeway
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes // Bought at Safeway
3 cloves garlic, minced // Bought at Safeway
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil*, plus more for serving // Bought fresh, organic at Safeway
1/2 tsp dried oregano // Had at home
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste // Had at home
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese // Bought at Safeway
1 large egg // Had at home
3 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, plus more for serving // Did not buy, missed seeing this — threw some Italian Seasoning in, instead
2 1/2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese, divided // Bought at Safeway
3/4 cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided // Did not buy, missed seeing this, but used some cheap stuff from Trader Joes
1/3 cup freshly, finely grated Romano cheese // Did not buy, missed seeing this
1/4 tsp salt // Had at home
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper // Had at home
12 uncooked lasagna noodles // Bought at Safeway

via Cooking Classy

I followed the directions, kinda. I don’t have a food processor, but I did throw the cooked ground turkey into my hand chopper to mince it up more like she suggested. I did not shred my own cheese, I missed the whole part in her blog about that, ooops! She said that you should, but it was cheaper to buy shredded. I will say, I may go her route when I make these again. I will say that when making these, I did not have enough sauce. Maybe it was because I put too much in each roll-up. I did not measure exactly to her directions, I just scooped the cheese mixture and the sauce mixture until it covered most of each strand of noodle. Afterwards, after doing all 16 noodles, there wasn’t much sauce left for the top. Thankfully, I had some leftover sauce (yes jarred sauce) in the fridge, so I threw that on top. It wasn’t my fave sauce we’ve ever tried, but I was in a bind. It was either dry roll-ups or sauced with not so good sauce?! I sprinkled the cheese to top it off and was set to bake.

The recipe also said to tent the foil when baking, but I’m not really sure, how necessary it was. 35 minutes also felt a little long for everything being pre-cooked, but I went with it. I also picked up some garlic knots from Safeway, to accompany our dinner. I did not realize this box only came with 6 knots, that is not enough — these things are addicting! Probably better off I didn’t buy a second box…

via New York Bakery

Thirty minutes later, I moved the lasagna to the top rack and threw in the garlic knots to bake and L set the table. She’s been really helpful lately and really enjoying time in the kitchen — we besides cleaning in there 😉

Dinner is served!

Sadly, it wasn’t as flavorful as I would have liked. I used extra seasonings, more than asked in the recipe, but it still felt kind of bland. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing by any means. Everyone at it, but I think it could be better. Maybe next time I will use an actual jar of sauce instead of just crushed tomatoes. Maybe the flavor will come through. Or I can pre-make the sauce and let it sit over night so the flavors have time to kick in together. I wouldn’t say this was a dud, but I just need to tweak the recipe.

The roll-ups were super convenient for plating servings, but I’m not sure it saves any time during prep versus making a regular layered lasagna. Go at your own risk, but it was fun to finally try these little guys. Another attempt at trying to cook for the fam, plus one. 

Some are losers, some are winners…then there’s just the okayers! 

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