Dishin with Denise… Rock On Back To School With Lasagna Rolls


Denise Gianatasio is a Northport 
Village resident and freelance writer. 
She is a licensed agent at Signature 
Premier Properties, 172 Main Street, Northport 631-754-3600. Denise 
enjoys cooking and sharing her recipes and family stories, as she wants to
inspire a warm sense of home with 
her readers. Please feel free to contact her for any advice you may need at

     It’s hard to believe it’s “Back to School” time already! How did it fly by so quickly? You gaze at your children, and see that healthy, golden, sun glow kiss on their skin, they look a bit taller, and just a tad older and perhaps more mature. Using this summer season as a measurement of growth that occurred in less than 10 weeks~ you’ll know~ they will be all grown in the blink of an eye. Like me, then you will see all the younger parents running around school shopping, buying clothes, new sneakers, supplies, getting haircuts, etc!  You will stop, feel a pull at your heartstring and reminisce…  WOW~ just how quickly those years rushed by. Of course we learn these things through hindsight sometimes rather than during the times of busy~ ness! Trust me, show the passion through your action. What you do speaks loud. Let your children know through you, that it was truly wonderful to have those lazy family filled days of summer. Then prepare them emotionally for the new challenges of going back to begin a new school year. I bring you back into the kitchen. Prepare this meal over a few days, if time is scarce. One day make your marinara, (or use a good jar sauce~ this 1 time only) Make your béchamel sauce and refrigerate till ready. Then the day before school, make your filling, roll your lasagna rolls and get ready to share a meal fit for a King or Queen! An easy and delicious meal, to roll them on back into their ABC’s.

Béchamel sauce 
2 T butter
4 teaspoons of flour 
1 ¼ cup of whole milk or ½ & ½
¼ teaspoon each salt and fresh ground pepper
Pinch or 2 of ground nutmeg
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, add flour and whisk for 4 minutes. Whisk in the milk and spices until sauce comes to a simmer and turns smooth and thick. Done

12-15 dry Lasagna noodles (I use Barilla brand)

Add noodles to a large boiling pot of salted water add 2 T of olive oil to water. Boil for 8-10 minutes, rinse with cold water, drain and lay flat on parchment paper to prevent sticking.

In a bowl mix together
1 (15 oz) container of ricotta
1 10 oz bag of frozen, thawed and drained chopped spinach
1 cup of grated locatelli cheese
1 egg beaten
 ½ t each of salt and pepper
Handful of fresh parsley chopped
2 T fresh-chopped basil

Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch microwaveable dish. Pour béchamel sauce on bottom of pan. Place approx 3 T of mixture on lasagna sheet and roll each noodle like a jellyroll. Lay rolls on top of béchamel sauce, cover with your marinara sauce. Sprinkle with a bit more grated cheese, parsley and basil. Cover with a glass top or saran wrap. Can refrigerate for a day. When ready microwave for 5~6 minutes, until bubbling hot.

Now I bring you back outdoors while the air still say’s Summer! Serve a fresh salad, some crispy bread and watch their smiling faces look happy and distracted for just that enjoyable mealtime~ with no regard about how they need to set their alarm clocks again! Good job by you~ Great job ahead for them! 

Happy Back to School!  XO Denise 




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