Have guests coming over later in the week? Make these lasagna rolls a few days ahead, throw them into the refrigerator and then pop them into the oven about 45 minutes before you are going to eat. Your hands do get a little bit gloppy when rolling up the lasagna noodles. But, it’s worth it.
Artichoke Lasagna Rolls
adapted from the 1994 edition of “New Vegetarian Cuisine ”
5 wheat lasagna noodles
2 cups spaghetti sauce (see note)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional: see note)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional: see note)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup coarsely chopped artichoke hearts
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded nonfat mozzarella cheese
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Meanwhile, in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, simmer the spaghetti sauce, basil, tomatoes, and oregano for 5 minutes. Set aside. (Note: Or, use a pasta sauce with the flavors desired. I used an organic tomato and porcini mushroom sauce from Middle Earth Organics with plenty of flavorings and herbs. I simply heated it up for a few minutes in the microwave. And, it saved some chopping of herbs.)
In a large no-stick frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the mushrooms and onions; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the ricotta, artichokes, peppers, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan; mix well.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of an 8″ by 8″ baking dish. (Note: Skip this step if making the rolls ahead of time.) Lay the noodles flat on a work surface.
With a small spatula, spread about 1 tablespon of the tomato sauce along the length of each noodle. Spread each with equal amounts of the ricotta mixture. Roll up the noodles to enclose the filling. (You may assemble the rolls ahead and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake them.)
Place, seam side down, in the baking dish.
Top evenly with the remaining tomato sauce and the mozzarella.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. (Note: If you are about to bake them after storing them in the refrigerator, cook for about 40-45 minutes, or until bubbly.)