Spinach and zucchini lasagne rollups

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By Libby and Dave | Oct 17, 2012

We grill vegetables all the time on our outside grill. They make a wonderful accompaniment to salmon, chicken, and beef. I always cook extra vegetables, thinking that I can use them in casseroles, fried rice, and other meals. Dave likes grilled vegetables, but he’s not exactly keen on meals made entirely from vegetables.

Conversation between me and Dave :

Dave: What’s for dinner?

Libby: I’m going to take those grilled vegetables we had last night, and put them in some pasta.

Dave: Make sure you put in lots of garlic. And meat.

Libby: Garlic, yes.  Meat, no.  There’s plenty of protein already.  You don’t need meat with this.

Dave (hyperventilating): No meat? For a minute there, I thought we were going to have a NICE meal, but now, you say no MEAT?

Libby: You’re going to love this…it’s going to be so good.

Dave: I think I might be getting a migraine. I need to lay down.

My husband, the carnivore…he’s a Paleolithic caveman, for sure.

So, that’s what we had for dinner last night…pasta with leftover grilled vegetables. Don’t worry, just because Dave didn’t initially welcome this dish with open arms. Frankly, he doesn’t welcome ANY meal with open arms unless it consists entirely of bacon. Please, ignore Dave’s dire prognostications concerning the meal’s awfulness, because these lasagna rollups were delicious. Dave ate it, AND he went back for seconds. He liked this meal, although I doubt he’ll ever admit it. I suspect when I make this again, I might have to sprinkle some bacon on top, just to trick Dave into thinking that these rollups are loaded with meat. The fact is that they are so hearty, you’ll never know that they are vegetarian.

This recipe goes together easily, and is a perfect weektime meal. If you don’t have leftover grilled vegetables on hand, then slice a small zucchini, and saute it for a few minutes in some olive oil. Or, just cook the zucchini in the microwave with a little water.

Spinach and zucchini lasagna roll-ups

water, for boiling

6 sheets uncooked lasagne pasta

5 tablespoons butter

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons flour

1 3/4 cup 1% milk

pinch red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups grated mozzarella divided

1 cup low fat cottage cheese

1 cup chopped grilled zucchini and yellow squash (or cooked vegetables of your choice)

2 cups coarsely chopped spinach

In a large pot, bring about 4 quarts water to boil. Add the pasta and cook, according to package directions (about 11 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, make a white sauce by placing  the 5 tablespoons butter in a medium-sized pot over low heat. Melt the butter, then add 3 garlic cloves and sauté briefly. Whisk in 3 tablespoons flour. Cook and stir until the mixture foams. Quickly whisk in the 1 3/4 cups milk. Turn heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking gently, for about 6 minutes, until mixture is thickened. Stir in the red pepper flakes, Herbs de Provence, and the salt and pepper. Reduce heat to warm/simmer, and stir occasionally.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of the grated mozzarella andall of the cottage cheese. Set aside.

Lay the cooked lasagna pasta strips on a cutting board. Onto each piece of pasta, evenly layer on the cottage cheese and mozzarella mixture, then top it with the chopped zucchini/yellow squash mixture. Evenly sprinkle over the chopped spinach. Start at the end of each pasta strip, gently roll the pasta, pushing in any vegetables that fall out.  Roll all of the pasta strips. 

Place the pasta rolls into a greased 11″ X 7″ pan. Top with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Pour over the white sauce. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese.

Place into the oven, and cook for 25 minutes until bubbly, and slightly brown on top. Serves 4-6.

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