I’ve been interested in freezer cooking since trying it successfully a few months ago, so I snapped up this book called Fix, Freeze, Feast when I saw it at the library. It’s targeted to people who shop in bulk at large warehouse stores, but the first reviewer on Amazon is in a two-person household too and just cuts the recipes in half. Sold! (Seriously… I’ll probably buy this book now)
My own efforts to cut a recipe down to size were a little less than perfect but still delicious. The Feta and Spinach Lasagna Rolls caught my eye, and the recipe was set up to make 3 entrees. I was only interested in making 1 entree, so you’d think it would be easy to cut all the amounts in thirds.
Uh, not so much for this girl.
When a recipe calls for a 32-ounce container of ricotta cheese, one third of that would be about 11 ounces. Ricotta is typically sold in 16 ounce containers, so do you use about two-thirds of it (and what do you do with the other third?) or just throw the whole thing in and hope for the best? I threw the whole thing in and prayed… which resulted in one extremely full baking pan (and a few extra lasagna rolls in the freezer, because they didn’t fit in the pan). I was convinced the sauce would boil over in the oven, so I put a cookie sheet below to catch any drips.
It didn’t drip, so maybe all that praying paid off! Woohoo!
I’ll tell you the way I made the recipe this time with the way it probably should be made in parentheses next to it. I also couldn’t find all of the ingredients called for in this recipe at my local Walmart (like asiago cheese, for example), so I substituted a cheese blend than included asiago.
I also added some herbs and spices (not pictured)… so this is more of a loose interpretation than a strict reproduction of the original. Measurements are approximate, cuz that’s how I roll. 🙂 We spent $15.30 on this recipe, which made at least 6 servings (12 rolls), or $2.55 per serving.
- 1 box lasagna noodles (15 – 18 noodles in each box)
- 28-ounce container tomato sauce of your choice (I chose a no-sugar-added version)
- 8-ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 16-ounce container cottage cheese [I’d use half next time]
- 16-ounce container ricotta cheese [I’d use half next time]
- 1 package (16 ounces) 6-cheese Italian blend
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano (optional)
- frozen chopped spinach, thawed (Need about 5 ounces, but use as much as you want. I used almost half of a 15-ounce package.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil lasagna noodles until flexible enough to roll but not completely cooked. The directions for my noodles said to cook for 10 – 12 minutes, so I cooked them for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix feta, cottage cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, about half of the Italian cheese blend and spices in a large bowl. Stir in spinach.
- Place partially cooked noodles on a clean working surface (I used homemade citrus-infused vinegar to clean my countertop beforehand) in a single layer without overlapping.
- Spread 3 tablespoons of filling down the length of each noodle. Roll noodle and place seam side down in a pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat until filling is gone. (I didn’t so much “spread” as “plop” the spoonfuls of filling and then just rolled up. The rolling action alone spread the filling out)
- Top rolls with sauce and the rest of the Italian cheese blend. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray and cover tightly.
- Bake for 40 – 50 minutes until center is cooked. Uncover and bake for about 10 more minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly!
Those are six of the most beautiful words in the English language, “…until cheese is golden and bubbly”. 🙂
[I used a 9 x 9 inch glass baking dish, which held 9 rolls. I played fast and loose with my tablespoon-fuls and ended up with 12 rolls. If I had measured more conservatively, I probably could have made about 15 rolls – enough for a 9 x 13 inch pan. If you end up with extra rolls, place them on a plate, put in freezer to set and then place in a freezer bag for later use. I believe that, if I had used half as much ricotta and cottage cheese, I might have made about 9 rolls.]
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