I haven’t had much luck with lasagna in the past, so I decided to take a bit of a different approach this time. Instead of layering my pasta like I usually would, I made them into cute little rolls.
Not only did this technique work much better for me, I find the dish looks so much nicer that way, so elegant and classy! Of course, it makes using different layers / components a tad more difficult, but I am guessing, not entirely impossible. One could probably spread the sauce over the pasta and top that with a little bit of cottage or ricotta mixture before to start rolling the lasagna. I’ll have to give that a try next time.
I made 2 different versions of this, one using whole wheat pasta and one using regular “white” pasta (for my son, who still refuses to eat whole grain pasta of any shape, kind or form) and I find whole wheat worked a lot better. Their firmer texture and the fact that they are a little thicker helps the rolls hold their shape a lot nicer.
As for the sauce, I used 2 different kind of lentils, red and green. I figured the red would go a lot more unnoticed and would make the sauce more accessible to those who don’t really care for lentils, while the green would add a little bit of a crunch and texture. I also added a wide variety of vegetables, namely aubergines, zucchinis, red bell peppers and spinach.
This sauce might look like it would take forever to make, but the truth is, as soon as the lentils are cooked, which takes about 25-30 minutes, it’s pretty much ready to go. So from start to finish, you’re looking at probably an hour and a half to get this elegant dish on your table. It may not be something you’d want to whip up on a busy weeknight, unless you were to make the sauce one night and assemble the next, but really, whichever way you choose to go about it, this is one dish that is very well worth taking the time to make.
- 8 lasagnas, preferably whole wheat
- 125g low fat mozzarella cheese
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ eggplant, finely chopped
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup red lentils
- ¼ cup green Du Puy lentils
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 100g spinach, chopped
- In large saucepan, cook onions, celery, garlic and bell peppers over medium heat until fragrant and the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini, eggplant, seasonings and lentils and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, then add tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil then lower heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 25 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
- Remove from heat, stir in spinach and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before you start rolling your lasagna.
- Preheat oven to 375F
- While sauce is cooling, cook lasagna per package instructions. When cooked, lay them flat on a towel and pat them dry.
- Spread a little bit of sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Set aside.
- Place lasagnas in a plate, one at a time, and spread about ¼ cup of sauce on the entire length of the pasta. Carefully roll and place in the reserved baking dish. Repeat with the remaining lasagnas.
- Top each lasagna roll with a little bit of sauce, then sprinkle mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and starts to color slightly.