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There’s a funny story as to where I got the idea to make Lasagna Roll Ups.  My dear friend Bonnie made a lasagna recently and experienced a kitchen disaster.  A lasagna that overflowed from her pan and all over the bottom of her oven.  Did I mention that Bonnie is a beautiful 100% Irish girl that doesn’t really cook?  Anyways, I felt bad for her knowing that she simply over filled her pan with 1-2 many layers. But the more I thought about it she probably didn’t have any type of liner on the bottom of her oven so I am sure there was a ridiculous mess to clean up.  So another friend, Jen, recommended Bonnie to make Lasagna Roll Ups next time because they were super easy to make and you don’t have to worry about spillage.

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large Spanish onion, chopped finely
¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 bay leaves
28 ounce can crushed tomato
14 ounce can diced tomato
10 ounce can pureed tomato
2 lbs. Ricotta cheese, drained
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 ½ lbs spicy Italian Sausage, casing removed
1 package lasagna pasta noodles

Sauce:
In a large pot heat olive oil and saute garlic and onion.  Once onion has turned transparent and tender add in crushed tomato, diced tomato, pureed tomato, bay leaves and ½ cup of parsley.   Cook on medium for approximately 30 minutes stirring frequently.  Taste and add salt if desired.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 4-hours.

Ricotta filling:

In a large bowl mix strained ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup parsley and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.  Cover and set aside in refrigerator.

Italian Sausage:
Remove casing from sausage.  Break up sausage into pieces and cook in large skillet until cooked through.  Once cooled cut sausage into small pieces.  Set a side.

Lasagna Pasta Noodles:
In large pot bring 1 tablespoon of salt and 5 quarts of water to rolling boil. Slowly add in noodles 3-4 at a time.  Boil noodles for approximately 10 minutes until tender, stir frequently to be sure they do not stick together or to the bottom of your pot.  Strain noodles and lay them each flat on parchment paper.

Assembly Instructions:
In a parchment lined baking tray sheet or an oven safe casserole dish apply a generous layer of sauce.  One-by-one scoop a layer of ricotta cheese filling onto laid out lasagna noodle, spoon generous layer of sausage, top with mozzarella and carefully roll up lasagna noodle.  Lay seam side down into sauce and repeat.  Top each roll up with tomato sauce and top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 350° F for approximately 20 minutes until cooked through.  Serve on a fresh layer of tomato sauce.

Tips: Be sure not to buy the no-boil lasagna noodles.  I actually bought them on mistake and had to go back to the store to get the right ones.  Also, since my husband and I prefer a sauce with a little kick I added 1 tablespoon of chili flakes to our tomato sauce and a little extra dash of chili flakes to our sausage.