This is a very popular dish in the internet food blogging world, and one that I have been yearning to try. However, my picky husband insists that noodles alone are not sufficient for dinner, so for him I had to pair this with a chicken breast. But for me, this was perfect. Serve this with some crusty Italian bread, a salad and a nice glass of wine and you've got yourself a really fabulous meal!
These were very easy to make, and I loved the addition of the bechamel sauce on the bottom of the dish. I made a few changes to the original recipe that worked out really well for me...namely the addition of the minced garlic; it added so much flavor to the ricotta mixture. Overall, this was really an excellent meal.
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk (I used skim)
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 (I omitted)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped (I omitted)
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 (I used less then this...probably about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I added this)
A pinch of nutmeg (I added this)
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 (if using), 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto (if using), egg, salt, nutmeg, minced garlic 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.