vegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rollsvegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rollsvegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rollsvegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rollsvegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rollsvegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rollsvegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rollsvegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rollsvegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rollsvegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rolls

“I TOLD YOU SO !” . . . even though many of you scoffed at me (and probably even considered blocking or blacklisting me). The oh-so-boring-and-simply SIMMERED & SAUTEED VEGETABLES that I posted one year ago (see recipe here) which I adjusted just for this recipe to less than half the initial amount and added eggplants too are, as I said, more than just a “side dish or accompaniment”.

I actually made the full recipe and used the vegetables in many different dishes, either with rice like this week or in this case in which they are most of this rolled pasta “filling”.

In my quest for healthier eating (and yours), this is VEGETARIAN RECIPE #3 (I mean 3 in a row) but don’t worry, I still eat meat as I always have but I also eat lots of vegetables. I just didn’t think of posting enough of those meat-less & healthier & environmentally-conscious recipes on my own blog.

The principle is simple enough. Instead of using store-bought big cannelloni pasta tubes, which I find hard and worrisome to fill, I use partly-cooked lasagna sheets in which I layer the 2 fillings, a soft-cheese filling all around and the pre-cooked vegetables in the middle, then I roll them up, all covered in a béchamel sauce (made with part of the remaining broth or sauce from the vegetables) and the grated cheeses on top (and a few fresh herbs as decor).

The resulting flavors are quite delicate despite the chunkiness of the vegetables which are quite tender (I always prefer chunky to smooth for any dish). 

And there are no TOMATOES in this dish so the others vegetable flavors and aromas are given a chance to freely shine through . . . :)

vegetable & cheese stuffed lasagna rolls

20.04.2018

5-7

ingredients

vegetables mix :

  • 300 grams (3 cups) carrots (3 long & thin)
  • 300 grams (4 cups) bell peppers (1 small red, yellow & green)
  • 300 grams (3 cups) zucchinis (2 long & thin)
  • 300 grams (3 cups) eggplant (2 long & thin)
  • 150 grams (1 ½ cups) onions (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 20 grams (2 cloves or 2 tbsp) thinly sliced garlic
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
  • 120 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce (or 1 tbsp white miso paste)
  • 5 grams (½ tbsp) vegetable broth powder or ½ cube
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 grams (1 tsp) fine sea salt 
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) ground mixed peppercorns
  • 15 grams (3 tbsp) fresh herbs (parsley, coriander, basil, rosemary, sage, oregano) or 1 tbsp dried herbs

soft cheeses filling :

  • 250 grams (1 ½ cups) ricotta
  • 200 grams (1 cup) soft mild goat cheese
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) freshly and finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 55-60 grams (1 large) egg
  • 2,5 grams (½ tbsp) dried mixed herbs (like “herbes de provence” mix)
  • 2,5 grams (½ tsp) fine sea salt  
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground pepper

bechamel sauce : 

  • 2 ½ cups (600 ml) evaporated milk (or use regular whole milk or a mix)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) broth from the cooked vegetables
  • 45 grams (3 tbsp) butter
  • 45 grams (5 ½ tbsp) flour
  • 2,5 grams (½ tsp) fine sea salt 
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground peppercorns

cheese topping : 

  • 150 grams (1 ½ cups) grated semi-hard cheeses (gruyere, emmental, or mild cheddar)
  • 125 grams (¾ cup) shredded mozzarella
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) coarsely grated parmesan cheese 

pasta :

  • 250-275 grams (15 sheets) uncooked dry lasagna sheets
  • 6 grams (½ tbsp) coarse sea salt
  • 3 liters (12 cups) water (for partly cooking)

instructions

  • begin with the vegetables; thinly slice the garlic and wash and slice the rest of the vegetables into long thin strips about 1 cm wide and 8-10 cm long and reserve each type of vegetable in separate bowls (if you prefer less chunky vegetables, feel free to cut them up in thinner pieces or julienne-style and reduce the cooking times because they’ll cook quicker)
  • heat up the olive oil in a very large pan, add the garlic slices and let sizzle at medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the slice onions and let cook for another 8 minutes, then add the carrots and let cook for another 20  minutes, then the bell peppers for another 20 minutes and finally the zucchini and the eggplant for another 10-15 minutes (total cooking time: 60-70 minutes while stirring occasionally)
  • once the vegetables are tender and evenly cooked, add the bay leaves, the soy sauce, the salt and ground pepper, the vegetable bouillon powder and the white wine, reduce heat to low (partly-cover with a lid) and let gently simmer for another 20-30 minutes, until at least half the liquid has evaporated, add the fresh herbs towards the end, stir adjust to your taste and reserve until cooled down
  • strain the vegetables and reserve the broth and vegetables separately (you’ll end up with approximately 1 kg cooked vegetables and 90 ml broth)
  • prepare the soft cheeses filling by simply combining all the ingredients together and whisk until smooth and set aside
  • prepare the béchamel sauce by heating up the milk and part of the broth together in a small casserole until barely simmering; in another larger casserole, add the butter and melt it at medium-high heat, once it starts bubbling, add the flour and whisk until well combined but do not brown, slowly add the warmed milk-broth mixture to the butter-flour roux and whisk, bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to medium and keep whisking for several minutes until it becomes creamier and thicker, then cover and set aside
  • bring 3 liters of water to a boil with some salt and cook the lasagna sheets for only half the usual time (about 2-3 minutes) to soften them for the rolling, discard the hot water and add cold water to stop the cooking, then drain again before beginning to stuff and roll
  • lay out the half-cooked flat lasagna sheets on your work surface, cover each lasagna sheet with  a thin layer of the soft cheeses filling, then add the vegetables and tightly roll when all are stuffed, lay all the stuffed lasagna rolls in a large baking dish (previously brushed with some olive oil) 
  • pour all the béchamel sauce on top, then sprinkle with the grated and shredded cheese and fresh herbs (if not cooking immediately, reserve in the refrigerator)
  • place the dish in a 200°C pre-heated oven, bake for 35-40 minutes and then broil at 230°C for 2-3 minutes for a slightly golden crust
  • remove from the oven, let cool down 10-15 minutes before slicing and serve 2-3 lasagna rolls per person (if needed, reheat the dish in a 190°C oven for 15 minutes, covered with a sheet of aluminum foil).