This is not real life.


Okay, I just want to preface this post by saying the weather in Indiana right now is INSANE!!! Seriously, I laid out on the roof of Pat’s house in my bathing suit in March… in Indiana! And I was sweating. It is Indiana summer weather here right now and I don’t know why but I am not mad, at all.

Just enjoying it.

But I eventually did come in from the gorgeous weather to cook lasagna rolls! It was a new recipe and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I will for sure make these again!

The recipe was adapted from this one by Giada De Laurentiis. I like Giada’s recipes but I changed this one just a little.

Here is my version:


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4  cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
Okay, I read this wrong and accidentally used 4 tablespoons of flour. Obviously, I had to add a lot more milk to thin it out. It ended up a nice consistency and I was actually happy with the amount that I had. Also, I didn’t have any nutmeg (I was cooking at Pat’s, so there is lots of improvisation that has to happen. Before me, his kitchen had NOTHING. NOTHING. Now it has slightly more than nothing) so I put in a tiny splash of vanilla extract. I also added more salt and pepper because of the extra flour/milk. It was a kind of a hot mess but it ended up good at the end of it all.


  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1.5 cups shredded fresh spinach
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (or any kind, really)
  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
Giada’s version called for frozen spinach, but I kind of hate that watery mess so I chopped up fresh spinach and mixed that in. I was really happy with the result. Also, Giada called for prosciutto but it’s more expensive and less hearty than ground beef. I browned ground beef before hand and mixed that in. I chose to add a little oregano and red pepper flake  to the beef but that is totally optional. I also didn’t have parmesan like her recipe called for so I just substituted mozzarella. Again, I was really happy with the result and all the changes. Though I haven’t made the original, I don’t think I ever will. I liked this way too much.

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Brown the ground beef.

Mix the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella, beef, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.


Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain.

Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out noodles on a work surface, then spread a large spoonful (about 3 tablespoons worth) of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle.


Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamel sauce in the dish.


Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture.


Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the lasagna rolls.


Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.



It’s a keeper!  Enjoy!


And stay tuned for more sewing coming soon. I finally finished Pat’s robe and I’m now planning to take up some (hopefully) quicker projects. I’ve already cut out the pieces for this skirt I’m going to start Monday. I’m pretty excited for it, so wish me luck!

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3 thoughts on “This is not real life.

  1. emmieloucupcakes says:

    I made a vegi version of these a couple months back! So good! Can’t wait to see all your cute outfits!

  2. emmieloucupcakes says:

    wow…veggie. I’m crashing hard today at work, obviously! Anyway, can’t wait to read more!

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