Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Leftover Makeover: Lasagna Rolls

I haven't done a Leftover Makeover post in a while.  This was not my idea, but one I found on Pinterest and in the interest of not just pinning but DOING, I realized this would be a great way to use up a bit of homemade spaghetti sauce.

A few weeks ago, I made spaghetti sauce while John was sick. It was cold and blustery outdoors and he was sick with a cold and what is better than homemade spaghetti, loaded with vitamin C and the good carbs and rich sauce that make a hearty meal?  So while the sauce was simmering, I was pinning...and I saw this pin on a friend's board.  It occurred to me that I had a partial box of lasagna noodles in the cabinet (a leftover from a previous meal) and that I'd definitely have leftover sauce because I always do.

When I boiled my spaghetti for the meal, I let inspiration lead me to a 'savings'.  I laid out the lasagna noodles in a 9 X 13 pan.  When I drained the spaghetti, I set the colander in the pan with the lasagna noodles, removed my colander, covered the pan with a cookie sheet and we had dinner while the lasagna noodles soaked in the water from the spaghetti.

After dinner the lasanga was just soft enough to roll and still al dente enough to freeze and reheat very nicely.  I layered on a bit of cottage cheese.  Here's one of my favorite tricks.  I seldom buy ricotta cheese as I find it too pricey and pretty much a lone ranger ingredient in my home, bound to be leftover and spoil.  I keep cottage cheese on hand nearly all the time because John likes to eat it with fruit, I stir it into mac and cheese, homemade blue cheese dressing, scrambled eggs, etc.  There's always a way to use up cottage cheese in this house!  So I use cottage cheese but to give lasagna the richness that ricotta would lend, I dollop on a wee bit of cream cheese over the cottage cheese, just little pinches of cream cheese.  It's incredibly good!

So lasagna noodle, cottage cheese, smidges of cream cheese, spoonful or two of homemade really thick sauce, and roll up.  Repeat until you run out of lasagna noodles.  I had seven.  Sprinkle the top with a bit of grated mozzarella and parm/romano blend and spoon on any extra sauce but not too much because when you freeze these, then bake they produce their own moisture.

I kept mine covered and baked at 350 for about an hour.  They were mostly frozen (I'd partially thawed in the fridge overnight).

I really liked this idea and that the portion is pretty much measured out for you.  We ate two roll-ups each and that was just right in my opinion.  We'll split leftovers for a second meal sometime this week.  Next time I make these I'll freeze in such a way that I can take out just enough for one meal.

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