Pasta Roulade with Ricotta and Spinach

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ricotta-roulade

Try these lasagna roll ups so everyone can have their own gorgeous piece. Fill the pasta with a spinach and ricotta blend. You can use store bought lasagna noodles, but homemade is really so great.

  • ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • Fresh Pasta
  • 2 pound of spinach (or a bag of chopped, frozen spinach)
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese (regular, do not use fat-free!)
  • salt and peper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 teaspoon grated Parmigiano cheese (grated, not shredded)
  • 1 whole egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup raisins, plumped in hot water and drained (optional)

Preparation

Make fresh pasta (see recipe).

Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, put two pounds of spinach in a pot with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 whole cloves of garlic. Salt and sprinkle with very little water.

Cook covered for about 5 minutes, then uncovered till soft and till most water has absorbed (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Once the spinach has cooled a little, drain it in a colander (you can line the colander with a cheesecloth if the holes are too wide), and squeeze most of the liquid out.

Chop the spinach (unless it was already chopped), and mix it with the ricotta cheese, the egg, salt, spices and parmigiano.  If you like a sweet touch, add the raisins and pine nuts. Set aside.

Roll the pasta out into a thin sheet and cut a rectangle of at least 10’ x 20” or preferably more.

Lay the pasta sheet over a cheesecloth. Spread the spinach and ricotta mixture over the pasta sheet and roll up tightly. Wrap the roll in the cheesecloth and tie it with twine at both ends, like a big piece of candy.

Boil it for 35 minutes in salted water, drain and slice.

Arrange in one layer in a baking tray, dress with sage butter (butter melted with sage leaves till golden) or a tomato sauce, and extra grated parmigiano.

Quick trick: If you just can't imagine making the pasta from scratch (it is worth it) then you can cook dried Barilla or De Cecco lasagna noodles in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, making sure they don't break.  Stop cooking by adding cold water and drain.  Lay noodles on paper towel. Stuff with filling and roll up.  Put in baking pan with either marinara sauce or sage butter on the bottom and on top.  Sprinkle with Parmigiano and bake at 400 F for 40 minutes (no convection or they will dry out).   Slice AFTER baking with a sharp knife.  Can be reheated.

Photo Courtesy of PH. Fuoco Variabile - Milano, Italy.