Lasagna Roll Ups

When it comes to food, pregnancy makes you fickle. When I pinned a recipe for Chicken & Bacon Lasagna Roll Ups, I fully intended to make this dish as soon as possible and devour every last bite … until we were grocery shopping for the ingredients, and it suddenly sounded awful to me.

No biggie. I decided to just make regular lasagna instead. The problem is when I make lasagna, there are enough leftovers to feed a family of five for an entire week. And right now, we’re sitting pretty at two and a half Peebles, if you count the kiddo I’m making as we speak.

So, I improvised! What I liked about the original roll up recipe was the smaller portions, using only 8 lasagna noodles, instead of a whole box. I know there are plenty of recipes out there for lasagna roll ups, but I’m glad I worked from the SimplyGloria version because my new creation turned out so delicious!

Main Ingredients

  • 10 lasagna noodles
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce (make it or buy it, as you prefer)

Filling

  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

My Go-To Spaghetti Sauce

  • 15 oz organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup champagne
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start a large pot of water boiling and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together. Add the pasta noodles and cook for 8 minutes (about 2 minutes less than the directions).

(2) In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together for the filling. Easy-peasy. By the way, I really love how the sour cream pairs with the ricotta! Set aside.

(3) Start making your spaghetti sauce. For my recipe, you literally just dump everything in a saucepan and warm on medium heat for about 5 minutes. When the sauce is done, pour about half of it into the bottom of a baking dish.

(4) In a skillet, cook up the sweet Italian sausage, breaking into small pieces. Make sure to drain off the excess fat. I usually also take a paper towel and dab off as much residual grease as I can. Set aside.

(5) When the pasta is done, drain and lay flat onto cutting board. Use paper towels to dry off excess water. I found I could get 5 noodles on one board and get all the rolls done in two batches.

(6) Divide and spread the filling onto the cooked pasta evenly. Add the sweet Italian sausage onto each noodle. Roll the noodles jelly-roll style and add to the baking dish, seam side down. I make two columns with five noodles in each. It’s a tight fit, but try putting the rolls open-end to open-end so the filling doesn’t spill out.

Lasagna Roll Ups

The filling.

How to arrange your roll ups.

How to arrange your roll ups.

(7) Cover the rolls with the remaining sauce. Then sprinkle the entire thing with mozzarella cheese and throw it into the oven for about 30 minutes. Let the roll ups sit for about 5 minutes after they’re done.

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna Roll Ups

I think these Lasagna Roll Ups are being added to the Big Red Cookbook as a family favorite. The hubby really loves this recipe, and I really love not having to eat lasagna for two weeks. Sometimes pregnancy symptoms work out in your favor! 🙂

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How the Light Gets In

It’s funny how time brings things back to us when we least expect them: books, memories, friends, mentors. A meaningful moment or person is woven into our life; they become a part of us forever, and yet they are only a single strand of many. In the blink of an eye, they are lost amongst the colorful rushing of days, and weeks, and years.

Those words first came to me when I was a college student via the e-mail signature of Mitzi, the longtime and beloved guidance counselor of my alma mater, Columbia College. For a burned-out overachieving perfectionist on the tail end of her freshman year, this quote was a life-changing epiphany for me.

Today, nearly 10 years later, Mitzi’s words unexpectedly came back to me, though she no longer walks this earth or the beautiful campus at 1301 Columbia College Drive. Her timing could not have been better.

I needed to be reminded that there is something undeniably human about imperfection. When you can finally step back to appreciate the unknowable, unmeasurable, uncontrollable adventure that is your life, it is an indescribably beautiful moment. Sometimes, the best things happen when your plans fall apart. Sometimes, the only way to find your strength is to embrace your vulnerability. And always, the shell of the egg must crack and fall away for new life to emerge.