• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
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Lasagna Rolls with Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Creamy Shallot Sauce

I’ve been sick since late last week. I haven’t been sick in a long time, and I began to notice certain cravings. The most predominant craving was for buttered wheat toast. Another was for Sprite or ginger ale. These are the things my mother fed me when I was sick as a kid. So I went to the store and bought wheat bread for toast. I didn’t buy any ginger ale, but I drank plenty of juice and water, and ate nothing but toast for four straight days.

The one craving that was not based on my childhood, however, was that of comfort food…a craving that didn’t strike me until I was beginning to feel better.  Something soft, warm, and topped with cheese. That is what I wanted my first meal returned from the land of toast to be, and since I hadn’t eaten much of anything for several days, I figured it was ok to put a little extra cheese on top. Ahhhh…it feels good to be well again.

Lasagna Rolls with Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Creamy Shallot Sauce

Makes 6 rolls.
Leftover Potential: Reheats beautifully and keeps well for 2-3 days.

6 sheets of whole wheat lasagna noodles

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt, to taste

1 tbsp olive oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup whole milk

mozzarella, to finish
black pepper, to finish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente, about 7-9 minutes.
3. In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and allow to cook until wilted. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with red pepper flakes and salt. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until lightly brown and caramelized. Add the mozzarella and the milk, stir until the mixture is completely combined and all the cheese has melted. Keep warm over low heat.
5. Drain the cooked lasagna noodles and allow to cool slightly. Place the spinach mixture down the length of the lasagna noodles, about 1/2 way. Spoon a little of the sauce inside. Roll the lasagna up into a relatively tight package. Place in a medium sized, oven safe saute pan or a small baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining lasagna noodles.
6. Cover the rolls with the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle with a little additional mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of pepper. Bake in the oven until the cheese begins to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately.


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