Monday, October 24, 2011

Leftovers...Lasagna Rolls Stuffed with Mushrooms, Scallions And Prosciutto

Several years ago I saw the recipe below on the Food Channel and it looked so good I got in the car and went to the store for the ingredients I was missing.  I don't think I made it more than once or twice after that until today.

Now, I'm not one to throw away anything so I already had  plans for some beatiful reconstituted French mushrooms that were left over from last night's stuffed tomatoes. I also found some leftover prosciutto in the freezer from another meal and 3 scallions in the vegetable compartment of my refrigerator.  That, my friends, was going to be dinner tonight.

For some reason these rolls came to mind except I did not have regular lasagna noodles in my pantry but I did have the no bake lasagna I sometimes use in a pinch. So here's what I did:

I placed 6 strips of lasagna noodles (Barilla) in hot water for about 15 minutes to soften.  Rinse and dry in paper towels.

Finely chop the mushrooms ( about 1/2 Cup) the prosciutto (1/4 cup) the 3 scallions and 3 cloves garlic.   Melt 2 TB butter in a skillet and add first the garlic and then the rest of the ingredients.  If you have parsley, be my guest.  Sauteed for 5 mins. and set aside to cool.  In another pan I make a cup of bechamel (you can follow the procedure below) and add 2 TB to cooled mushrooms mixture to bind.

Place about 1 TB mushroom mix in lasagna strip and roll up.  Make 6 of these.

In 2 gratin dishes, spread about 1 TB of the bechamel and then lay 3 lasagna rolls on each.   Cover with the rest of the bechamel and sprinkled Parmesan cheese (a lot!).

Set oven to 375 degrees,  cook them covered in tinfoil for about 20 minutes, uncover and cook until the cheese is bubbly and they are golden on top.

I did not put any marinara sauce over the bechamel (even though I had some also frozen), because I really just wanted a white sauce on mine; but you can certainly do so if you want.

Serves 2

Here's the original recipe:

Giada de Laurentiis courtesy of Food Network



2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour (I used 2 TB for my recipe)
1 1/4 cups whole milk (I used 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg


1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
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)

Here’s How:

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.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

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

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.

Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. 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. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamel 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.


Photocredit top photo

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Ghost Cake

One of the things I remember my mother telling me is always trust the recipe in back of a product.  It has to be good, after all it showcases the product.

With that in mind, look what I found in the Libby's website.  Just by reading the ingredients,  I can tell it has to be good.  Maybe I will invite my granddaughter for an afternoon of Halloween baking!



1 pkg. (18 oz.) spice or carrot cake mix

1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin

3 large eggs

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


2 pkgs. (3 oz. each) cream cheeese, softened

2 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

*Black string licorice, NESTLÉ RAISINETS Milk Chocolate-Covered Raisins and Halloween candy corn (optional)



PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch-round cake pans.

COMBINE cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, water, vegetable oil and pumpkin pie spice in large mixer bowl until moistened. Beat for 2 minutes or until thoroughly mixed. Pour batter into prepared pans.

BAKE for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.


BEAT cream cheese, margarine and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Spread between layers and on top and side of cake.


FORM licorice strings into ghost shapes; press into side of frosted cake. Use Raisinets for eyes. Arrange candy corn between ghosts on side and around top edge of frosted cake.

Recipe and photo from Libby's.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sunday Family Dinner - Roman Style Meatballs

Made with ground beef, pork and bits of prosciutto, these hearty Roman meatballs are simmered in a tomato sauce and paired with Gnocchi alla Romana (see recipe in Lindaraxa). They go well also with spaghetti or served on their own with crusty bread and a green salad.

To ensure tender meatballs, don’t overwork the ingredients; mix them gently until just combined.

The original recipe for the meatballs comes from Williams Sonoma. If you want to use their recipe for the gnocchi go here.  The one on my blog has been adapted from Marcella Hazan.


1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs

1/2 cup milk

4 oz. finely chopped prosciutto

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground pork

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano

6 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste

5 Tbs. olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes with juices (I use Pomi brand)

Gnocchi alla Romana for serving (see Lindaraxa)) or spaghetti


In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk and let stand for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the prosciutto, ground beef, pork, eggs, cheese, parsley, oregano, 3 Tbs. of the basil, 3 of the minced garlic cloves, the 1 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the soaked bread crumbs and mix gently until combined. Divide the meat mixture into 1/4-cup portions and roll into balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in 2 batches, brown the meatballs on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

In the same pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 Tbs. basil.

Add the meatballs to the pan and cook, turning occasionally and basting with the sauce, until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with the gnocchi alla Romana alongside.  You can also serve with spaghetti. 

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen


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