Monday, March 18, 2013

Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls


Lasagna rolls. I went there, I did it, and I loved it.





Where have lasagna rolls been my whole life? So simple to make yet so presentable and easy to eat.

The truth is that traditional lasagna, though undeniably amazing in your stomach, is quite messy until it gets there. You know what I'm talking about - the drippy sauce everywhere and the impossibility to cut and serve slices. The lasagna noodles basically fall apart before they even get to your plate.

So here is the solution to every lasagna problem you have ever had - make lasagna rolls. Rolling up your favorite lasagna filling all inside one lasagna noodle makes the whole dish so easy to handle, present, and eat. I'm sure you'll love it.


In this blog post, I'm sharing a filling recipe for chicken pesto, which worked great for me. However, feel free to try this method of making lasagna with any filling recipe you wish. A good alternative is the traditional ground beef filling - you can find a great recipe for it here. Just remember that the filling should be less saucy and more paste-like. You can add more sauce to the bottom and top of the rolls when serving.


Good luck in the kitchen!

Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls
from Tracy's Culinary Adventures

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk (low-fat is fine)
1 cup shredded chicken
1 (15 oz) container of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup pesto sauce
1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1 cup chunky marinara sauce

Preheat your oven to 375 F.


Add your butter to a saucepan set over medium-low heat and cook till it melts.


Then you can add the flour, and whisk it till it is combined and free of lumps. Cook it for one minute.


Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly so that there are no lumps. Raise the heat to medium-high, and continue cooking, whisking frequently, until the sauce has thickened. Don't worry if you see lumps at first, they will smooth out if you keep whisking. Also, if the sauce is too thick for your taste, feel free to add more milk till you get your own desired consistency.


Season to taste with salt and pepper, and then remove from the heat.


Add 1/4 cup of the white sauce to the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking pan and spread in an even layer. I doubled the recipe to make enough for two pans.


In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, ricotta, pesto, and 1/4 cup of the mozzarella.


Season with salt and pepper. Don't add too much salt because the cheese already has a LOT of sodium.


Working with one lasagna noodle at a time, place 1/3 cup, give or take, of the filling on the noodle and spread to cover.


Roll the noodle up, and then place it in the baking pan. Repeat with the remaining noodles and filling.


Pour the rest of your white sauce over the lasagna rolls, then top them with the marinara sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the roll. (I added some parmesan here).


Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese has browned and the sauce is bubbling around the edges of the pan. Viola- some sexy looking lasagna, ready to be eaten.


Enjoy!
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