SILKY MARINARA SAUCE
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 (28 oz.) can chopped, canned tomatoes, purred in blender for 5 seconds
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tbs. unsalted butter (optional)
- ⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes
- Heat a saucepan on medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil and garlic, and sauté garlic, turning gently until it starts to turn golden on all sides. Be careful not to burn garlic or the sauce will taste bitter. If this happens, discard and start over again.
- Add tomatoes, salt, water, sugar, butter, and red pepper flakes.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
- If the sauce is too thick, add the water, ¼ cup at a time. You don't want it too watery, but you do want it to have a silky consistency.
*Tip: Freeze any leftover marinara sauce and save it for another day. It will last up to 3 months.
*Tip: You can save time by using frozen creamed spinach.
*Tip: The great thing about this dish is that you can freeze the roll ups' so when you go to reheat them, you can just pull them out as individual servings.
SPINACH LASAGNA ROLL UPS
- 2 pkgs. (15 oz. each) ricotta cheese
- 2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 pkg. frozen creamed spinach
- 1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 lb. lasagna noodles
- silky marinara sauce
- pinch of kosher salt
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- non-stick cooking spray
- glass casserole dish
- 20 leaves fresh basil chiffonade (roll up like a cigarette and slice thin)
- 2 tbsp. fresh mint from garden chopped (optional)
- Begin boiling large pot of water for the noodles, add a dash of salt.
- While you're waiting for the water to boil, prepare the lasagna filling.
- Thaw creamed spinach. Cook according to package directions.
- Combine creamed spinach in a bowl with the egg, ricotta, ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix until evenly combined.
- When the water has come to a heavy boil (12-15 minutes), it's ready for the noodles. Add the noodles and boil until al dente.
- Occasionally stir the noodles while they cook to prevent them from sticking to each other and the pot. Stir gently because you don't want to tear the noodles.
- Once your noodles are cooked, drain and rinse under cool water. Lay on clean dish towel and dab with a paper towel to remove any water that remains.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Spread a few tablespoons of filling over each noodle. (The number of roll ups you get will depend on how thickly the filling is spread on the noodles.)
- Roll them up.
- Place the rolled up noodles in a baking dish coated in non-stick cooking spray.
- Cover the lasagna roll ups in a light layer of marinara sauce. This keeps them hydrated and soft. Don't oversaturate them with sauce.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil (to prevent drying during baking) and bake for 30 minutes at 400° F.
- Plate and add marinara sauce to the top of the roll-ups. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese and garnish with basil and mint (optional).
You can serve the dish with a fresh garden salad!
Get additional recipes from Cristina at www.cristinaferrarecooks.com.
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