Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sweet Potato Spinach Pesto Lasagna Rolls

Time for another new dish!  It's been my goal to try out a new one every week. And I'm trying to make them more healthy (if they're not already). This recipe wasn't too "diet-friendly" to start with, but I made some changes to it to lighten it up and remove some of the guilt...

It's no secret I LOVE all things pumpkin and winter squash so naturally I gravitated toward it.  Luckily for me I have a couple afternoons free and I had the time to do it.  Unfortunately, I'd have to say if I only had nights to make dinner - like cooking after a long day of work, I'm not sure I'd have the energy or desire to make this.  Even still, it took me a long time to make.  Based on that I'm not sure I'd make it again. Unless I found a way to shorten up the prep time... we'll have to see.

I found the original recipe here.



5 cloves garlic
5 oz basil, leaves torn off
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
2 oz spinach
15 oz part-skim ricotta
6 oz mozzarella, grated, divided
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
4 medium sweet potatoes
12 lasagna sheets
2 cups tomato basil sauce
salt and black pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350 and set a pot of salted water to boil.  In the meantime, combine the garlic, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and spinach in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Add salt to taste.

In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, half of the mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and pesto that you just made.

Poke sweet potatoes all over with a fork.  Wrap each in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 2 minutes per side or until fork-tender.  Remove from microwave.  When cool enough to touch, remove the skin and mash the sweet potato flesh in with the ricotta-pesto mix.  To make it REALLY smooth, food process it until totally blended.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

When water comes to a boil, add the lasagna noodles.  Cook until just al dente.  Line two large baking sheets with wax paper.  Using a pair of tongs, remove the noodles from the cooking water one by one and place them next to each other on the cookie sheets.

Spread 2-3 tbsp of sweet potato-ricotta filling on each noodle. Beginning at one end, loosely roll each sheet.  Spread 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan.  Place the rolls, seam side down, into the baking pan, fitting them as snugly against each other as possible.  Top with the remaining tomato sauce and mozzarella.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.  Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.


I substituted: 1 cup 1% cottage cheese and 1 cup part-skim ricotta for the full 15oz container of ricotta.  Lightened it up a bit.

Also, instead of the 2 tablespoons olive oil, I used 2 tablespoons Olivio spread (melted). It was 140 calories instead of the full 240 calories of the OO.

Finally, I used fat free mozzarella instead of the part-skim version.

Ultimately, it tasted fine but again...took too long. Oh, and next time I would increase the sweet potatoes just a little. When I followed the original recipe I couldn't detect the sweet potatoes AT ALL.

Good luck :)

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