Meatless Friday: Garden-Vegetable Lasagna Rollups


Aug 10, 2018 8:30 AM - 1 week, 3 days, 19 hours, 14 minutes, 55 seconds ago


When many of us hear the word lasagna, we think of the classic combination of ground beef, marinara sauce, layers of noodles, and lots of cheese. But this meatless summertime version, inspired by food touring in Rome and my love of garden goods, rejuvenates the beloved lasagna noodle with new surroundings.

Why this fresh look at an Italian favorite? My family and I eat local produce if we don’t grow it ourselves, so I try to lighten our menus with more veggies. This modern twist on lasagna uses a helping of seasonal vegetables rolled into every serving. Each tender lasagna noodle surrounds a stuffing of delicate cheese and minced summer vegetables seasoned with a pinch of herbs.

I mentioned that this recipe was inspired by food touring because my family was visiting Rome when I first became enamored with lasagna. I don’t mean the kind of lasagna we’re served in Italian restaurants in the United States. It wasn’t even my favorite lasagna recipe from Sunset’s Italian Cookbook! On every street corner in Rome I found a family-owned restaurant, and of course, all the pasta sheets were handmade. What lay between the paper-thin lasagna sheets? Cheese, garlic and herbs. Yes, that’s right — no beefy Bolognese or marinara. Only delicate pasta with delicious white cheese. Heavenly!

Don’t panic! These rollups do not require handmade pasta, though I’ve made many a lasagna sheet in my day. (And you can find fresh lasagna pasta sheets in the refrigerator section of many grocery stores.) I find the rollups are easier to make with commercial dried pasta.

To my delight, the taste of this lasagna is reminiscent of meatless lasagnas we had in Rome! Buon Appetito!

1 jar (24 oz.) of your favorite pasta sauce, divided

½ teaspoon dried basil or rolled sage or Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon salt

1 lg. green bell pepper

1 med. yellow summer squash (or zucchini)

3 – 4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 lg. egg (or two small eggs), beaten

1 – 15 ounce container of Ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)

1 ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated and divided (or Romano or Asiago)

1 – 16 ounce block or ball of firm Mozzarella cheese, (not fresh mozzarella) sliced into 10 to 12 slices

Copyright 2018 Catherine A. Hamilton. All rights reserved.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Boil pasta in salted water, 12-15 minutes. Rinse until cool enough to handle, and lay flat on silicone or pastry mat.

3. Mince green pepper and summer squash and combine, or pulse in food processor until finely chopped, careful not to purée vegetables. Drain off any excess liquid.

4. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, egg, sliced green onion (white ...

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