First off the whole American Internet copyright scares me. So I’m only linking to the recipe and I’ll explain the changes I made. That wasn’t the confession.
This is another recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. I love Mel’s blog. She’s so down to earth with her meals, and that’s just what I want. Great tasting meals that don’t require a massive amount of energy and time. Though there’s a few steps involved in this recipe due to making a Ricotta filling, making the meat sauce and assembling the rolls. But it wasn’t difficult and it was sort of fun.
Ok, to the confession. I’ve never EVER used Ricotta. I don’t even think I’ve had anything that had Ricotta as an ingredient, at least not knowingly.
I’d saved Mel’s recipe the moment I read it. Gotta love being able to subscribe to your favourite food blogs. I was actually concerned about what Mr Fussy would say to having Ricotta. I had planned to make this meal this weekend and blow me down if Mr Fussy didn’t order Chicken Cannelloni with a stuffed Ricotta filling while we were out for dinner Wednesday. And he didn’t turn his nose up at anything. He’s just now said he didn’t know what Ricotta cheese was.
I guess you could make this a lot simpler if you’ve got a favourite Pasta sauce. I used mince. It’s from one of Karen’s cattle. I bought quite a bit of the beast. There wasn’t a lot of fat that came off the mince. I bought the pasta many weeks ago when visiting the Mediterranean Food Company. A favourite of mine. I must get along to Mercato too. I always get a few extras than what was originally on my shopping list. To avoid another shop on Saturday I picked up a tin of tomatos from the Supermarket. They were also Italian. I was curious to see whether there’d be any difference.
Look past the inconsistent lighting of the two photos. On the left is my usual tin of tomatos I get from the MFC, on the right the tin from the supermarket. The supermarket sourced tin had a lot more juice. I think there was about $0.50 difference. I’m much happier paying a little extra from the tinned tomatos I get from the MFC.
As for making these rolls. I can tell you it’s a fiddly job when your thumb is encased in a plaster.
Ok, that’s the sanitised version of what was really happening. It wasn’t hard, the lasagna sheets were quite pliable after having cooked 4 minutes, the amount of time on the packet. I did worry they wouldn’t be cooked enough, especially when they’re so long and I was trying to cram them into what I refer to as one of my larger pots.
I wasn’t wasting anything. I just picked up the baking paper and then let the filling fall over the top of the rolled lasagna, after all I was putting more meat sauce over it anyway.
So what of the changes I made to Mel’s Italian Lasagna Rolls.
- I used fresh Basil in the Ricotta filling because I had fresh and my philosophy is if you’ve got it, use it. I know that means you need a lot more fresh to equal the depth of flavour of dried. I chopped about 2 Tbls of fresh basil in place of the dried basil.
- I added another egg yolk to the Ricotta filling. I’ve got egg yolks coming out my ears thanks to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream I made. What’s another egg yolk between friends.
- I also had fresh Thyme I used that instead, again more fresh than the dried Thyme the recipe calls for.
- I didn’t have quite enough tomato sauce. I used 2 Tbls of Tomato concentrate to make up the difference. My bottle was 330ml and the recipe calls for 15oz. I made it up to 15oz which was only about 1/2 cup more.
- I had roasted a garlic bulb Friday night. I used two cloves from that.
- I used 1 small onion. It seemed about the amount of 1/2 cup of chopped onion.
- I don’t have black pepper at all. I used ground peppercorns.
- And it’s ok to use whole tomatos. Just use a wooden spoon, or even a potato masher to squish the tomatos. Once the sauce is cooked and reduced all those tomatos are soft and mushed up anyway.
And of the Ricotta cheese? Well nothing in the meal tasted of anything distinctive (except a bit of peppercorn I got). So I guess it’s alright
And as a bonus this meal is going to do two rounds. So that’s a nice quick meal during the week.