Tag Archives: pasta

Lasagna Roll-ups with Spicy Sauce

Oh Pinterest, how I love thee. Let me count the ways….nah, I’ll just tell you about lasagna roll-ups. Do a Pinterest search for this dish and you’ll find lots of versions. I would like to add my version to the list.

Lasagna roll-ups — what a splendid idea. It’s easier to serve and you don’t have to make one gigantic batch and hope that you’ll eat the leftovers before they become fuzzy with mold. That’s always the problem when I make it for just me and my husband. Each roll up is like one slice of lasagna, which to me is about one third of a serving since I’m always starving.

Here’s my down-home lasagna recipe TRANSFORMED!

Serves 4 hungry people, or 6 regular people

Ingredients for the sauce:

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 Tbs. tomato paste

2 Tbs. olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 onion, chopped (optional)

3 Tbs. or so dried basil

1 Tbs. or so dried oregano

1 tsp. sugar

salt and pepper

1 lb. spicy pork sausage


The rest:

One package of lasagna noodles (the kind you have to boil)

1 regular-sized tub of cottage cheese (trust me)

1.5 cups shredded mozzarella

1.5 cups shredded parmesan

2 eggs

1/2 package of frozen chopped spinach

3 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper


For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook till onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, paste, sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and turn down the heat so sauce doesn’t burn. In the meantime, brown the meat and break up into small pieces. Add to the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the spinach in boiling water till it’s heated through. Drain, cool, and squeeze out as much water as possible.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a medium bowl, combine the cottage cheese, eggs, 1 cup of mozzarella, 1 cup of parmesan, spinach, parsley, salt and pepper.

In a square baking dish, add about a cup of the sauce.

When water is boiling add six noodles at a time and boil for 10 minutes, or whatever the packaging says. Spread the noodles out on a sheet of aluminum foil. Spread a couple of tablespoons of the cheese mix to each noodle. Roll up the noodles and place seam-side down into the baking dish. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle the rest of the cheeses on top. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 5-10 minutes.


Creamy Tortellini, Sausage and Mushroom Soup

Winter’s a-coming and that means it’s soup and stew season. Gotta stay warm, especially when we’ve been having these unusually early El Niño-like windstorms lately. Here’s a great recipe to hunker down with. I found it on Pinterest and as usual, added my own little flair (i.e., meat).

I wasn’t sure what the blogger meant by “white sauce mix.” Normally, I’m averse to using prepackaged stuff in my cooking, but I thought I’d try it out and I used one dry packet of alfredo sauce mix. It turned out to be a delightful soup base and boosted the other flavors quite well.


Creamy Tortellini Sausage and Mushroom Soup

Serves a whole bunch of people — like 12?


1 packet of dry alfredo sauce mix

4 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1.5 cups crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

1/2 an onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. or so dried basil

1/2 teaspoon or so dried oregano

some sprinkles of cayenne powder

salt and pepper

one 8-oz package of dried tortellini

1/2 package of frozen spinach

4 Italian sausages

1 12-oz. can evaporated milk


Combine the sauce mix, water and chicken stock in a large Crock Pot. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper and set Crock Pot to low for 4-5 hours.

Stir in the dried tortellini. Cook on low for another hour. Meanwhile, heat the frozen spinach in a small pan with water till it’s thawed. Strain and squeeze out the water. Set aside. Cook the sausage thoroughly and slice up.

Add the spinach and sausage and continue cooking till tortellini is al dente. Add the evaporated milk and cook till soup is hot again. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and crusty bread.