Jr Chef

My youngest son has always enjoyed helping out in the kitchen. I first noticed it a few Thanksgivings ago, when he was curious about how I make pies: specifically the pumpkin pie which is is favorite. Since then, I’ve been encouraging him to help out when he can.

He’s 11 now and so yesterday I decided it was time for him to learn to cook. We’re going to do a new recipe once a week over the summer. We’re going to shop for the ingredients, discuss any adjustments we’d like to make, and then cook.

For our first lesson, we started out with this recipe from the Whole Foods website: Cheesy Lasagna Rolls

We hit the grocery store, bought the ingredients. Once we got home, we set out everything we were going to need and got started. We decided to add a couple of more cheeses to the stuffing and make it a 3-cheese stuffed roll, decided against adding a meat this time, but think bacon or sausage would be fantastic in this. I’m also pretty sure I would love to add artichokes and may try that next time.

The basic ingredients are spinach, marinara sauce, and ricotta cheese (we added mozzarella and parmesan into the ricotta mixture) And of course lasagna noodles. We used 7.

Rader is adding sea salt to the water to boil our noodles.

When your noodles are al dente, you lay them flat, spread cheese, marinara, and layer some spinach on the noodle.
Then you roll up the noodle

And place it upright in the pan

Once you’ve placed all the rolls in the pan, spoon remaining marinara over each roll, sprinkle with mozzarella (and Parmesan) and bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown

They were DELICIOUS! and so easy.

Cheesy Stuffed Lasagna Rolls from Wholefoods.com

1/2 pound (8 to 10) uncooked lasagna noodles
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

We added Mozzarella and Parmesan into the Ricotta as well, and made them 3-cheese rolls


Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add noodles and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and gently transfer to a clean work surface.

Grease a small roasting pan or casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside. Working with one noodle at a time, spread with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta and 2 tablespoons of the marinara then top with spinach. Starting at one end, roll up noodle snugly then arrange in pan either seam-side down or with the rolls close enough together to hold each other closed. Pour remaining marinara over assembled rolls then sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.

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