Rotolo and Spinach with Ricotta

Creamy pasta, stuffed with ricotta cheese and topped with marinara reminds us of Sunday dinners and mom's comfort food. Unfortunately, the pasta recipes we loved as a kid aren't always friendly for our diets and waistline.


Luckily, eating healthier doesn't have to leave you feeling deprived, or endlessly craving your favorite foods. This rotolo recipe from Pasta Fits clocks in at just under 500 calories per serving, and 13 grams of fat. The delicious pasta dish is made from sheets of lasagna, stuffed with a mixture of low-fat ricotta cheese and heart-healthy spinach, and covered in savory tomato sauce.

Serve with a hearty side salad for a healthy dinner your family will love, and a recipe you can pass on for generations! 

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves (4 teaspoon) finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 1 sprig fresh basil plus 1/3 cup chopped, divided
  • 8 sheets lasagna
  • 8 ounces raw spinach (1 large bunch)
  • 1 (15 ounces) tub part-skim ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Directions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. To make the sauce, place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and sauté the onion, seasoning with a little salt and pepper, until softened and starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and stir to allow the tomato paste to caramelize, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a fork or whisk, and the sprig of basil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove basil before assembling rotolo.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the lasagna according to package directions. Drain and reserve. While the sauce is simmering, place the spinach in a pan. Cover and wilt the spinach (add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan if needed to help wilt). When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water and finely chop. Place in a bowl with the ricotta, egg and remaining 1/4 cup basil. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

To assemble the rotolo, place one lasagna noodle on a work surface. Spread about 1/3 cup (1/8 of the spinach mixture) along the noodle. Roll up the noodle and repeat with remaining filling. Ladle about ½ cup of the tomato sauce along the bottom of an oven-proof dish. Place the noodles in the pan, seam side down, and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano. Place in the oven and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. To serve, place 2 rotolo on a plate.

Makes: 4 servings (8 rotolo)

Nutrition facts497 calories, 13 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 61 g carbohydrate, 30 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 81 mg cholesterol, 413 mg sodium
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