These Stuffed Lasagna Roll Ups start with browned and crispy hot Italian sausage bathed in a bechamel sauce with fresh spinach and sprinkled with Pecorino Romano cheese that is then rolled up inside al dente lasagne sheets and covered in a fresh tomato sauce then baked to perfection.
It’s been a while since I made a good Italian dinner and lasagna was on my mind. But I didn’t want a sheet pan of lasagna, sometimes the stacked version always seems to slide over and look a mess on my plate. So, I decided I was going to stuff and roll the lasagna sheet pasta and drape it in lots of fresh home made tomato sauce and lots of cheese. Shredded mozzarella and freshly grated Pecorino Romano to be exact. So off I went to my favorite Italian deli here in San Diego, Mona Lisa’s for all my shopping needs.
Mona Lisa’s has the best house made sausages, fresh pastas and numerous ingredients for any dish. I picked up some other items for other ideas, like their pancetta and fresh ricotta and herb ravioli, but I digress. I grabbed 2 pounds of their Mona Lisa Italian Sausages, freshly grated Pecorino Romano and Mozzarella cheeses and a couple bunches of fresh spinach as well as 2 cans of the famed San Marzano tomatoes. I also picked up some ricotta cheese, but when I got home decided on making the sausage mixture with a bechamel sauce, which is made with a roux of butter and flour cooked with milk, instead of the ricotta.
So I started on the tomato sauce because that was the item that needed the most time. I put the San Marzano peeled tomatoes through a food mill to purée and sautéed that in a good olive oil, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, red pepper flakes and the Italian herbs.
Next up I rinsed and cleaned the spinach because they always have so much sand and grit in the leaves. A quick thin chop to it all then placed it in a bowl and set aside.
In another large casserole over medium heat I added some olive oil, the other crushed garlic clove and the sausage meat I removed from the casing. Brown and crumble this. I find using a whisk makes quick work of this to crumble the meat easier.
After the sausage mixture is browned, sprinkle the flour over the meat and cook the flour for several minutes. Next add the milk in and whisk to incorporate and continue cooking for several minutes until thickened.
Next, turn off the heat on the sausage mixture and add the cleaned and chopped spinach.
This will break down as you stir it and thicken for the filling.
Boil your lasagna pasta per the package instructions and drain when done. Lay them out on parchment paper so they do not stick and allow to cool slightly.
Spoon about a quarter cup of the meat mixture down the center of each cooked lasagna sheet.
Sprinkle the Pecorino Romano cheese over the meat mixture.
Carefully roll up and place in a 13×9 baking dish that is oiled and has a thin layer of the homemade tomato sauce.
Place the rolled up, stuffed lasagna in the pan, two rows of five. Repeat with remaining pasta and filling. Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella and Romano cheese. Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot.
Stuffed Lasagna Roll-ups
- 10 lasagna pasta sheets
- 3 garlic cloves separated and crushed
- 2 medium onions finely chopped
- 2 lbs hot Italian sausage
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups fresh chopped spinach
- 2 28 oz cans of peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- kosher salt to taste
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 13x9 baking dish or stone with olive oil, set aside.
- Put the San Marzano tomatoes through the food mill to purée, making sure to scrape the bottom to get all the pulp and good stuff.
- In a separate large sauté pan or casserole add the olive oil, puréed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, 2 crushed garlic cloves, Italian seasonings and cook for 30 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 15 minutes on low until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- At the same time cook lasagna pasta sheets per package instructions, drain, pat dry and lay flat on parchment paper.
- In a large skillet on medium heat add olive oil and sauté 1 clove crushed garlic, onions, and hot Italian sausage (casings removed) until browned.
- Sprinkle the flour on top of meat, mix it with a whisk to incorporate and cook for several minutes. Add milk and whisk until combined. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered. This meat mixture and sauce should be thickened.
- Remove from heat, add chopped spinach and mix to combine. Allow to cool.
- Add 1 cup of tomato sauce to bottom of prepared 13x9 baking dish and spread it evenly.
- Fill each lasagna pasta sheet with 1/4 cup of sausage mixture and sprinkle of Romano cheese. Spread this down the middle and roll up. Place in the pan, two rows of six. Repeat with remaining pasta and filling.
- Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella and Romano cheese. Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot.