Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recipe: Green Garlic & Ricotta Lasagna Rolls

(No, this isn't me. This is a photo of Callie,
from Callie Cravings, making macaroons.
Do you think that lasagna rolls just come
out of a tube like in the Jetsons? I just figured
it was better than no photo, right? ;)

First off, I apologize for the lack of photo in this and the salad recipes! I just decided to to do this series of posts about my culinary inventions, and these recipes pre-date that decision, so I didn't think to photograph them. Good photos will be forthcoming on the newer recipes soon, including a heirloom carrot and asparagus bibimbap recipe.

Second, I think there is a serious food conspiracy going around. Your average lasagna recipe calls for enough noodles to use most of a box, but there are always 6 giant noodles floating around in your cabinet for ages that the recipe doesn't call for. My favorite way to get rid of these extra noodles are to make lasagna rolls! You can adapt this method for almost anything you have around. As long at you can roll it up inside it will work fine — But oh my, green garlic is one of my favorite springtime treats, combining the flavors and textures of two of my other dreamy kitchen ingredients, garlic and leeks! 

Eron's Green Garlic & Ricotta Lasagna Rolls
Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 Bunch green garlic, chopped
1/2 lb asparagus chopped in to 1" pieces
1/4 c. white wine
1 tbs olive oil. + more for drizzling
6 lasagna noodles
1 1/2 C ricotta
1/4 c pine nuts
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 salt
1/4 grated parmesan, divided

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and get a big pot of salted water boiling. 

2) Add the noodles and boil until tender, but firm. Strain and put in a bowl of cold water to hold. (You can do step 2 and 3 simultaneously). 

3) Toast the pine nuts over medium heat in a dry skillet until lightly golden. Maybe 3-4 minutes. You're better to under than over cook the pine nuts, so watch them carefully!

4) Add the olive oil to a pan on medium heat and add the green garlic. Saute it for about 4 minutes, until it's just starting to get soft. Add the asparagus. Saute for about another 4 minutes, until the asparagus is tender. Add the white wine and turn the heat up to medium-high. Scrape up the browned bits on the bottom. Once the wine is almost totally reduced, scrape everything in to a medium bowl. 

5) Add the ricotta, toasted pine nuts, nutmeg, thyme, white pepper, salt, and half the parmesan to the bowl with the green garlic and asparagus. Mix it up well. 

6) Now, hopefully your noodles are cool enough to handle, if not, now is a good time to pour yourself a glass of wine and change the album on the stereo. Once your noodles are cooled lay them out on a cutting board or other clean surface. Split the ricotta-green garlic mixture among the six noodles, spreading it out along the length of the noodle. 

7) Roll each noodle up like a jelly roll. Place seam-side down in a lightly oiled baking pan. Sprinkle remaining parmesan on top. Drizzle with olive oil.

8) Bake for about 15 minutes, or until hot through and the top is just starting to get golden. 

9) Serve and probably add salt, because I am a classic under-salter. Man, chardonnay smoked sea salt would kill on top of this dish. Drink with an odd Italian white wine that you picked up from Wine Expo or a lithe bodied Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris. 


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