Behold: my Lasagna With a Past. I've been making this since waaaaaay back in early 2007, i.e. the year before the Jeff Administration, and I used it to impress dates. One in particular drove nearly six hours after work to see me (including an unavoidable brush with Friday night Chicagoland traffic). How could I not have something fabulous waiting for him? It also gave me something to do while I stayed up watching late night TV.
Obviously it didn't work out for us, but make no mistake, this is still a quality dish, one that I am now more than happy to make for my beloved husband...who did not know about this lasagna's past until 1.5 seconds ago (he's a freakishly fast reader). This morning we had the following conversation:
Me: Do you want anything special for supper tonight?
That's all the encouragement I needed to dust off this chestnut. And since he gave it a pretty good compliment ("I'll have fun with this over the weekend"), I've decided that the lasagna, like me, belongs to him now.
A word about how revolutionary lasagna rolls are compared to regular lasagna: NO SLOP FACTOR. You know how when you cut that first piece out of a traditional lasagna and it's a sloppy disaster, noodles slipping around all over the place, and sauce from neighboring pieces flooding into the gap where it used to be? No more. What you see in the photo above is the first piece.
Imagine it: CUTE LASAGNA EVERYTIME.
This is a Giada de Laurentiis recipe from Everyday Pasta, the one where she's on the cover putting some "freshly ground black pepper" "all over the top," to quote two things she says in virtually every show she does. Note: The recipe will take at least 90 minutes start to finish, and if you're like me, it will dirty at least eight pots, pans, and bowls.
(Above: lasagna with two Christmas ornaments I bought today--one strange African bird and one adorably judgemental chubby bird.)
- 1 lb lasagna noodles
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (raw)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 (15 oz) containers whole-milk ricotta <-- Part-skim is fine, but whole milk is more luxurious and decadent, so you be the judge of what's appropriate for your situation.
- 1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 cups marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
Drizzle the rolls with the remaining marinara mixture and top with mozzarella. Bake until lasagna rolls are heated through and cheese begins to brown, about 25 minutes.