I love the creamy comfort of the béchamel & nutmeg, the contrast of the fresh tasting marinara sauce and the slight saltiness of the Parmesan cheese and prosciutto.
So simple to prepare and can be made ahead. Freeze before baking and then cook from frozen the day you want to serve it or prepare it up to 2 days in advance and store in the fridge wrapped tightly with foil.
I hope you love it!
Easy Lasagna Rolls with Spinach, Ricotta and Prosciutto
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk (You can do this with 2% or even 1% milk but whole milk is preferable)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 (15-ounce, 425 g) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce, 284 g) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry Note: If using fresh spinach, chop, sauté, season with salt and squeeze dry.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (and Pecorino if possible)
10 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles (boil a few more in case some break)
2 cups marinara sauce (Store-bought faves are La San Marzana or Rao)
1.5-2 cups shredded mozzarella (about 6 ounces)
For the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes. It should take on some colour and start drying up at the bottom. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a slow simmer, has thickened and is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.
Note: This sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated. Store in a bowl with plastic wrap touching the surface of the sauce so that a film doesn’t form. Otherwise, if using right away, keep the sauce in the pot with the lid on. Reheat if needed and if it’s too thick, add a splash of pasta water. If a film has formed, it will melt into the sauce when reheated.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan/Pecorino Romano, sliced prosciutto, beaten egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.
Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish and spread evenly to cover the entire bottom.
Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread a large spoonful (about 3 tablespoons worth) of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, atop the bechamel sauce in the dish. Place rolls snugly near one another but do not pack them in tightly. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons (or more) of Parmesan/Pecorino over the lasagna rolls. Cover the top with a sheet of parchment and then cover tightly with foil.
Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 30 minutes. If desired, uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 5-10 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat until hot, and serve alongside in a bowl or gravy boat.