Lasagna ‘Roll Ups’

Hello my fellow travelers,

Today’s recipe was an experimentation of sorts. I made lasagna a few weeks back (in typical layered fashion) and decided to try a different variation a week later. Although my lasagna roll ups decided to spread into squares while baking, they made great little sections perfect for serving. Traditional lasagna usually cuts up in sloppy squares though of course, looks are not everything because these tasted awesome!

Lasagna Roll upKind of a roll up? 

The best part about the lasagna is the sauce. I let it simmer for a good hour, which I believe is it what really gives it the characteristic Italian flavor. Plus fresh basil and parsley don’t hurt.

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Ingredients

Sauce

1 small onion

4 garlic cloves, crushed

28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes (organic, bpa free)

8 oz. tomato paste can (organic, bpa free)

1 lb organic ground beef

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2-3 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup water

Cheese

450 g ricotta cheese, (I like Silani brand)

1 egg

2 tbsp parsley

400 g mozzarella cheese, shredded

200 g parmesan cheese, shredded

12 lasagna noodles

Method

  1. For the sauce, take a large dutch oven and fry onion, garlic, and beef until beef is slightly brown. Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, spices, basil, and parsley. Add 1/2 cup of water to thin out the sauce. Let boil and reduce to simmer for at least an hour.
  2. Take lasagna noodles and place in tray or large bowl of very hot water. Leave the noodles in for 20-30 minutes. No need to boil them and dirty another pot! The lasagna noodles will cook in the oven. In mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg and parsley.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once lasagna noodles are soft, lay them on paper towels. Spread a spoon ladle of sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 glass tray (I actually put 9 rolls in a 8×8 pan and 3 in a 9×5 glass loaf pan). Spread a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on the lasagna noodles, the sauce on top, parmesan, and mozzarella. Roll up the lasagna and place seam down in the glass tray.
  4. Once all the lasagna roll ups is laid out in the tray top with the rest of the leftover sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes with foil on top of the tray making sure the foil doesn’t touch the cheese. Cool for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Italiano Chicken in Basil Sauce

Hello my fellow travellers,

Today, I stood out of my comfort zone and tried my first non-pasta Italian dish. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. This chicken in basil sauce recipe is so easy and delicious that I think it will now become one of my staple recipes for how to cook chicken breast. The flavours meld together in a swirl of parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and chicken broth with a hint of pepper. Amazing, amazing, amazing!

I found the recipe on Big Oven and tweaked it slightly.

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Chicken in basil sauce with a side of quinoa salad

I’m extremely pleased with the way this dish turned out and just love all the flavours that work so wonderfully together. This chicken recipe is definitely going into my recipe box!

IMG_7604A wonderful close up in case you’re not hungry enough 😛

Ingredients

Serves 4

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 pound boneless chicken breast; 4 halves (generally 2 pieces of breast sliced horizontally)

4-5 tbsp butter

1 cup heavy cream (35%)

1/2 medium tomato, chopped

1/4 cup basil, chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

Chicken Broth (recipe calls for 1/2 cup, this makes about 3-4 cups – leftovers are good!)

1/2 purple onion, chopped

1 chicken thigh

0.75-1 liter water

pepper, to taste

salt, to taste

Method

  1. First make broth – add water to a sauce pan, add chicken, pepper, salt, and onion. Let the water come to a boil and then place it on medium-low heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked. I love using the chicken for chicken sandwiches. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Put milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes. Soak chicken breast pieces individually in milk and then coat in crumbs.
  4. Fry in a skillet with butter on medium heat – 5 minutes each side or til the chicken is golden brown and crisp/spring to the touch. Remove from skillet and wrap in foil placed on a baking dish. Put the chicken in the oven for 10-15 more minutes to cook thoroughly.
  5. For the sauce, pour the broth in a sauce pan over high heat till the broth boils. Lower heat to medium and add heavy cream, tomatoes, and stir for a 1-2 minutes. Reduce to medium-low heat and add parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, and pepper.
  6. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with a side of rice or salad.

Enjoy!