Throughout the years, pasta and I have had an on and off relationship. Growing up, we ate it simply: with sauce, and maybe a meatball or two, if Mom was feeling fancy. By adolescence, jarred sauce and elbow macaroni had gotten to be a bit old. In college, I went back in on the pasta game, full force. Boxed mac and cheese was cheap, easy, and only required me to clean one pot. I’ll take it! After college, it became clear just how many recipes that involved pasta, also involved a crazy amount of cheese, oil, other things that I shouldn’t be eating by the pound. Therefore, I let pasta go out of my weekly meal round up.
These days, I’m looking to get back into a relationship with pasta. It’s filling, goes well with everything, and is (in most situations), really easy to make look fancy in just a bit of time. These Turkey Lasagna Rolls were a perfect first date between pasta and I; they have bits of all the good things you expect to come with pasta, but in just the right amounts. Let’s get started!
First, you’ll want to cook your lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. (The hardest part of this is just finding a pot large enough!) Once they are cooked, lay them out to cool.
Up next, the meat sauce. Start by browning your ground turkey in a medium skillet. Once it’s cooked through, add in some onion to soften, for about 4-5 minutes. In the last minute of cooking the onion, throw in your minced garlic for that classic Italian taste. After all of those guys are friends, you’ll add in your tomato sauce, salt, pepper, parsley, and crushed red pepper if you please. Since we are controlling the seasoning, your tomato sauce should be purely tomato, instead of pasta sauce from a jar. Speaking of seasoning, I suggest waiting until this point to season your sauce. If you season it too early and at every step in the process, you’ll have some salty lasagna rolls later on. This mixture will thicken for about 5 minutes.
Assembly time! By weight, divide the meat sauce onto each of your lasagna sheets. Spread it down the lengths and then carefully roll. To put in them in the casserole dish, spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom and then place the rolls seam side down. Top each with a tablespoon of sauce and a pinch (or two, or three) of cheese.
Lastly, cover your dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 degrees at 350 degrees. Everything is already cooked, so we are really just waiting for the cheese to melt and brown up a bit.
There you have it friends; a perfectly balanced pasta meal! Meaty, saucy, cheesy, but also wholesome. Sounds like a perfect compromise to me!
On Wednesday, we are celebrating another favorite national holiday of mine, in style: National Pancake Day! Save your drool people. Until then, stay tuned and stay hungry!
- 8 lasagna sheets
- 1lb ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, diced in small pieces
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 TBS fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/4 cup tomato sauce, divided
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
- Cook 8 lasagna sheets as directed on package.
- Prepare casserole dish by spreading 1/4 cup of tomato sauce (pure, not pasta sauce) on the bottom.
- In a medium skillet, brown ground turkey until cooked through, over medium heat.
- Add 1 medium onion that’s been finely diced - cook until softened, 4-5 minutes
- Add 2 cloves minced garlic - cook until fragrant, 1 minute
- Add ½ cup tomato sauce, 1tsp salt, 1tsp pepper, 2 TBS freshly minced parsley, red pepper flakes (to taste) - simmer until thickened, 8-10 minutes
- Assemble each roll by spreading 1/8 (by weight) of meat mixture, and rolling. Place seam side down in the casserole dish.
- Top each roll with 1 TBSP. of sauce, and a pinch of cheese.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Serve with side salad, or veggie of choice!