“Pizza Night” was losing it’s short-lived luster quickly, so I knew I had to create something fun and skip ordering a pizza this time! Not that we order one every Friday or Saturday night, only a few times actually, but it quickly became old for me and no longer a treat.
I do enjoy having a day OFF from cooking now and then, but the hubs has been extremely busy traveling for his job and homemade food is VERY much appreciated by both of us right now.
So ex-nay to the order-on-line, be-there-in-30-minutes, you never know what it’s going to look like, weekend “pizza surprise” supper! At least for now, anyways! 😉 I’m not Wonder Woman and need a break now and then! Don’t we all?!
But if it isn’t being fully enjoyed, then why eat it, right?
So, though we had just had lasagna a week and a half before, I ended up with lots of extra noodles and wanted to use them up anyways. Still half-craving a pizza, I decided to combine the two ideas and create some pizza-flavored lasagna rolls! That worked for me, and the hubs was thrilled to pieces with them!
This will definitely become a once-in-awhile treat to make on a rainy day to bring us some smiles and a nice change of pace from regular lasagna or “mystery meat” pizza! At least I know what’s going in them! 😉
Though you can put on a few of your own personal favorite pizza toppings such as ripe or green olives, chopped green bell pepper or onion, or even anchovies!, I chose to use what I already had and created a classic combo of pepperoni, Italian sausage and mushrooms!
The ricotta-basil pesto-mozzarella cheese mixture was divine and acts like the “glue” to hold the toppings. Then just a small drizzle of sauce down the center, that spreads to coat when you roll them, moistened them up the rest of the way so that they aren’t dry and wah-lah! These rolls were already looking gorgeous!
Then it’s just a matter of spooning the rest of the pizza sauce on top, baking, topping with good quality, fresh thick slices of mozzarella for “extra cheese”, and garnishing with a nice cluster of fresh basil to be eaten right along with the rolls!
Such a pretty presentation! And these were VERY tasty little buggers!
These could easily be made a day ahead and baked for company or a special occasion. Then simply serve with a nice tossed salad with homemade dressing and some crusty on the outside, tender on the inside Italian or French bread, and you’ve got a wonderful dinner for guests or a Sunday dinner for the family!
Skip ordering that pizza, and go with something homemade instead! 😉
So whatever the occasion is that you decide to make these, you, your guests and family will be very pleased!
Plan on one per person for the kiddos and those with smaller appetites, and 2 rolls for the guys and those who have “where do they put it all” appetites! 😉
One was more than plenty for me, and so glad that I skipped the ordering in! You will be glad too, and the added bonus is that it costs a fraction of what delivery pizza costs!
Hope you enjoy these soon and have a most wonderful day! 😀
PIZZA~LASAGNA ROLLS with SAUSAGE, PEPPERONI & MUSHROOMS
Makes 12 rolls and serves 6-12
For Basil Pesto Ricotta Cheese Sauce:
1 extra-large egg, beaten
16 oz. ricotta cheese
1/3 shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, lightly packed
1 Tbl. basil pesto
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
dash or two of coarse ground black pepper
For Easy Pizza Sauce:
1 (14.5 oz.) can Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes in Sauce
1 (6 oz.) can Hunt’s Tomato Paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. whole fennel seed
1/8 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
dash of salt and a pinch of coarse ground black pepper, to taste
Rest of Ingredients:
12 lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente
72 slices pepperoni (6 per roll), fat rendered in microwave between sheets of paper towels
1 lb. mild, sweet or hot ground Italian Sausage, we like Johnsonville’s
24 thick slices fresh mushrooms, (2 mushrooms per roll) snapped into 1/3″ pieces as you go along
12 thick slices (1 lb. – 1/3″ thick) fresh mozzarella cheese, I use Bel Gioioso pre-sliced
fresh basil leaves, optional
For Basil Pesto Ricotta Cheese Sauce:
In medium-sized bowl whisk egg. Stir in rest of ingredients well. Cover and chill to firm up a little.
For Easy Pizza Sauce:
In medium-sized bowl, stir all ingredients until well mixed, cover and set aside.
In frying pan, sauté sausage until done breaking up finely while cooking. Drain grease, place into paper towel-lined bowl, cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring pot of water with 1 Tbl. salt to a boil. When sausage is done, cook lasagna noodles until al dente, according to package directions. (I always use Barilla and cook them for 8 minutes.) Drain.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In 13×9 baking dish, lightly coat with no-stick spray and spread a 1/4 cup of the pizza sauce on bottom.
On large baking sheet, lay out enough noodles to cover sheet to get started. Spread and layer on each noodle in order as follows:
* 2 Tbl. ricotta mixture
* 6 slices of pepperoni
* 2-3 Tbl. cooked and finely crumbled sausage
* 2 thick slices of mushrooms snapped into small pieces (about 1/3″ in size)
* 1 Tbl. of the pizza sauce drizzled down center
Next, roll them up carefully, as best you can, and place seam side-down into prepared baking dish. Continue with rest of noodles until all are filled and rolled.
Spoon rest of pizza sauce on top of each roll. Pop into pre-heated 350 degree oven, uncovered, and bake for 25 minutes. Top each with a thick slice of fresh mozzarella, and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted.
Serve hot, one to two per person.
*We enjoyed these with semi-homemade Garlic & Italian Herb Twisty Bread and a side salad with homemade Thousand Island Dressing! But if you prefer Blue Cheese Salad Dressing, I have a recipe for that, too! 😉
**I used all of the sausage inside of the rolls, but if by chance you end up with a little left, just simply stir it into the remaining sauce before topping the rolls.
Tip: I’ve never had any trouble with Barilla, but if you’re using another brand, you might want to cook one or two extra noodles in case they split or break apart while boiling.