Mini Skinny Stuffed Pesto Lasagnas

So guys, I'll admit: it's been a while. Yes, I've been slacking, yes, I've failed at regularly posting (cough, cough--posting at all) for the last month, but I have an excuse (don't I always?): I am a mama's girl. You heard me, I have been enjoying spending time with my family so much that I have not wanted to copy down recipes, much less spend and hour or two putting together a blog post. So forgive me, dear blog family, for abandoning you. I have done it once, and I will most likely do it again, although I will try to post at least once a month once I get back in school. Speaking of the dreaded "s" word (school), I go back in three day! You heard me (well, technically you didn't hear me... you read me. My life is an "open book blog" eh? Yea, that was a good one). Anyways, just two more days with the fam bam. But the broseph and sister are way, so actually it's just me right now. I'm getting to pull that "only child" card for a bit, it's kind of nice.

I have been cooking like nobody's business this summer, making pies, cookies, cakes, and cooking dinner nearly every night. We've had everything from healthy pizza, to shrimp stir fry, to these delish little lasagna roll-ups you're about to read about. I also made an absolutely divine ricotta-stuffed tomato recipe that I must share, but I have to wait until I make it again because this chick right here brilliantly forgot to take pictures of them. And who likes a recipe post without pictures? No one, absolutely no one.

Anyhoo, let's get to the recipe shall we?

These mini lasagnas are nothing short of a little slice of heaven (no very much intended). I have been trying to come up with some creative dinner ideas because I feel like my family is becoming overloaded with tacos, pancakes, hamburger steak, meatloaf, and spaghetti (my poor, deprived family, right?). Anyway, my creative juices have been flowing, thus producing this my brainchild: stuffed mini lasagnas.
This was initially supposed to be a recipe for giant stuffed macaroni shells, but when Walmart a grocery store whose name I will not mention failed to have whole wheat jumbo pasta shells (because whole wheat is a must for us healthdees out there-- you like my new word? It's a combination of "healthy" and "foodie"), I was forced to change my plans, something I utterly detest to do. It all worked out, though, because these are delicious.
I have found that recipes like this go over quite well with children because they love the feeling of having their own little pie/ lasagna/etc. cooked just for them. Or, if your like me, and your obsessed with all things small and miniature (I may or may not have baby spoons that I eat with sometimes), you will find this recipe quite delightful.

Also, this recipe uses my homemade pesto, but it's no problem to use the store-bought kind; I won't judge (too much), especially because I used store-bought marinara sauce *gasp* in this recipe. I just couldn't find the time/energy to slave over the stove for an extra hour making homemade marinara. Another day, Lauren, another day.

By the way, I forgot to photograph the lasagna rolls the first time around, so please excuse the less-than-fabulous pictures. I was working with leftovers, and there's only so much you can do with leftovers.

Enjoy, guys! Feel free to comment in the section below and leave questions, comments, a haiku, declarations of love or discontent... you know, whatever suits your fancy.

Mini Skinny Stuffed Pesto Lasagnas

serves: 6 large servings (3 rolls each) or 9 regular servings (2 rolls each)
yeild: 18 lasagna rolls
nutrition: (calculated without pesto)
            2 rolls with sauce = 267 calories
            3 rolls with sauce = 400 calories

1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles (18 per box)
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 cups spinach, finely chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh pepper
1 cup pesto (you can find the recipe here)
2 ( 24 oz. jars) marinara sauce

1. Boil lasagna noodles according to package directions. Set aside.

2. While the noodles are boiling, make the filling. In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs, spinach, Parmesan, milk, sea salt, and pepper.

3. In a deep 9x13 casserole dish, pour one (24 oz.) jar of marinara sauce.

4. Lay the lasagna noodles flat and spread about a tablespoon of pesto on each noodle and about 3 tablespoons of cheese filling on the noodles. Spread to fill.

5. Starting at one side, roll one noodle at a time and place it in the casserole dish with the seam (the opening) on the underside so it rests in the sauce. Continue to roll noodles until all 18 are in the dish.

6. Pour second jar of marinara sauce on the lasagnas.
7. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
8. Top with some freshly shredded hard cheese (I used Gruyere).
9. Devour.


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