These pasta bundles are essentially lasagna rolled up on its side, rather than laid flat. They’re fun and easy, for a change of pace. The small amount of goat cheese mixed into the filling offers a welcome tang. Look for fresh ricotta, it’s far superior to the mass-produced version stocked in supermarkets. You’ll find it at Whole Foods, small specialty grocers or high-end markets.
If you like, add chopped, fresh mushrooms to the filling too. Cook the mushrooms with the garlic—before adding the spinach—until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes or so.
- Olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch spinach, rinsed, stems removed
- 8 large lasagna noodles (about one half package)
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soft goat cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 jar bottled marinara sauce (about 24 ounces)
- Pat spinach dry and chop finely. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add spinach. Cook until leaves are just wilted but still bright green. Remove from heat and drain as much liquid as possible from the pan. Cool slightly.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a couple teaspoons of salt and the pasta noodles. Gently press on noodles as they soften to immerse them in the water.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk ricotta and goat cheese together in a medium bowl with a small amount of water (one or so tablespoons) until smooth. Add Parmesan cheese and cooled spinach. Mix thoroughly with a spatula.
- When pasta is done cooking, drain the noodles and rinse with water to cool.
- To assemble rolls, spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce across the bottom of a rectangular casserole dish (about 9 by 12 inches wide) to evenly coat the surface. Lay a noodle out flat on a cutting board. Spread with enough cheese mixture to coat the pasta lightly. Starting at one of the short ends, roll the pasta up like a rug. Place seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat with remaining noodles using enough filling so all of it is used up by the time you reach the last noodle. Gently spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the rolls, bathing them lightly. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until sauce is bubbly hot.