Friday, October 17, 2014

Cooking with Facebook

Don't worry, this isn't going to become a cooking blog, this is just a disturbing aberration.

We all see a lot of recipes floating around on Facebook. I occasionally cut and copy one into a Word file to save. I've made a few of them, but I save a lot more than I make. Here's one that I saw several times and I discovered that I had saved it more than once so I decided to make it.

Here's the recipe and the picture as it appeared on Facebook, my version is down below.

Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups -
8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
14 oz freshly shredded, low-moisture part skim Mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1 large egg white
1/3 cup freshly, finely shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/4 oz)
freshly ground black pepper
3 - 4 medium Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/6 inch thick slices)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 cup marinara sauce, recipe follows

Simple Marinara Sauce
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to directions listed on package to al dente. Drain pasta (DO NOT rinse with water) and align lasagna noodles in a single layer on a large sheet of parchment or wax paper.

For filling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese and egg white until well blended. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Mix in 12 oz. of the Mozzarella cheese and season with black pepper to taste (I wouldn't recommend seasoning with salt just because the cheeses already have plenty of salt).
Place 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle and spread into an even layer, going from one end of the lasagna to the other. Align 4 thin tomato slices over cheese mixture then sprinkle fresh basil over top. Snugly roll lasagna noodles to opposite end. Spread about 1/4 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Align lasagna roll ups, seam side down in dish. Top each roll up with about 2 Tbsp of the pasta sauce (covering edges of pasta so they don't dry out while baking). Sprinkle top with remaining 2 oz. shredded Mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven, plate pasta and garnish with plenty of basil ribbons. Serve warm.
Simple Marinara Sauce
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions to hot oil and saute about 3 minutes until soft, adding garlic during last minute of sautéing. Pour in crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and allow sauce to cook for about 25 - 30 minutes.

And here's mine:

Basically it's lasagna made from ricotta and mozzarella cheeses with fresh basil and tomatoes. I figured that I couldn't go too far wrong, and indeed it came out pretty well. It was tasty if not as tidy as shown in recipe picture. 

I used 2-3 times the amount of garlic it called for and made twice the amount of sauce. I used frozen onions and green peppers, one can of crushed tomatoes and one can of diced. I was sorely tempted to cook some ground Italian sausage and add that to the sauce as well, but mine was frozen.
Here it is out of the oven, not that different from how it looked
going in, but the cheese is melted. Maybe it's because I used so
much sauce, but I think it could have cooked another 10 minutes.

I probably used more ricotta than it called for, but less mozzella, because I just used all of the package those ingredients came in. I used two egg whites rather than one, not sure why. I didn't use Roma tomatoes, I just found the ripest tomatoes I could in the store.

Warm lasagna noodles tend to fuse to wax paper so I should have let them cool a bit more. My roll ups weren't as tidy, my tomato slices not as thin, but I had enough sauce to cover a lot of sins. 

It was pretty good, I'll make it again, maybe soon because I still have half a box of lasagna noodles, another container of ricotta and extra basil. Will just need to get more mozzarella. 

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