Vegetable Lasagna Roll-Ups

Here's a recipe taken from Graham Kerr's "Minimax Cookbook". I must confess that I haven't tried it, but it does sound good.


  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz fresh spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbs fresh chopped oregano
  • 2 Tbs fresh chopped basil
  • 8 oz raw lasagna noodles
  • Sauce:

  • 3 tsp extra-light olive oil with a dash of sesame oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups finely diced eggplant
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 Tbs low-sodium tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup de-alcoholized red wine [De-alcoholized is Kerr's preference. Ordinary red wine certainly may be used.]
  • 1 can (16 oz) whole tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Combine in a large mixing bowl the three cheeses, the spinach, half the beans, half the oregano, and half the basil. Set aside.

    Cook the noodles al dente. Cool them under cold water when they're cooked the way you like them.

    Preheat the oven to 350F. Pour 1 teaspoon of the oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the onions and the garlic for 5 minutes, stirring often. Transfer half to the spinach and cheese filling and set the other half aside. Wipe the pan clean.

    Add 1 teaspoon of the oil to the same pan and over a medium heat, cook the eggplant for 8 minutes, stirring often. It's important that the bottom of the pan does not scorch. Spoon the cooked eggplant into the filling mixture and stir well. Wipe the pan clean.

    Add the remaining oil to the same pan and, over medium heat, cook the red bell pepper for 3 minutes. Spoon the cooked pepper into the filling mixture. Wipe the pan clean.

    Add the tomato paste to the same pan and, over medium heat, cook until it turns brown--about 5 minutes. It is very important it doesn't burn but just browns. Stir in the red pepper flakes and the wine, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and reduce the liquid by about one fourth--about 15 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and their liquid, stirring until the tomatoes break into pieces.

    Add the remaining beans, oregano, basil, and reserved cooked onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes at a very low simmer. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, and black pepper and mix well.

    Lay a lasagna noodle flat on a cutting board. Form 1/2 cup of the filling into a rough ball, lay on one end of the lasagna and roll it up end to end. Repeat with the remaining noodles.

    Pour the sauce into a 9" X 13" baking pan. Place the lasagna rolls on top, seam side down, and spoon some of the sauce over them. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 5 minutes.

    I probably wouldn't go to the trouble of making the roll-ups although they do make a nice way to present individual servings of lasagna. There are only two persons in our household so baking the lasagna in the traditional all-in-one pan would be satisfactory for us.