The other day I was in the mood for Italian food, but not spaghetti, fettuccine, or baked ziti. Something else….
I had one bunch of kale left over from my last Hometown Harvest bag, and thought maybe that would be tasty in a lasagna, sautéed first with some garlic and olive oil, and then added into the ricotta mixture. My vegetarian sister happened to be in town from Brooklyn (and eating with us!), so I thought she’d be a fan of the combo too.
I warmed the olive oil and minced the garlic. Then, I pulled the kale out from the fridge.
“Hmmm…this kale looks odd,” I thought.
Then, I quickly realized what I had leftover wasn’t kale at all! It was bok choy.
I decided to use it anyway.
- 12 lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch chopped fresh bok choy, spinach or kale
- 1 15-oz container of whole milk ricotta
- 1 large egg
- 1-1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup marinara
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and use a tablespoon of butter to grease the bottom and sides of a 9x11" baking pan.
- For the bechamel sauce: melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it's smooth, and then let it cook for 1 minute. Pour the milk in all at once, add ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper, and continue whisking until the bechamel becomes thick and bubbly. Pour it into the bottom of the buttered baking pan.
- Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Chiffonade the bok choy, then give it another quick dice - you should have around 2 cups' worth. Throw it into the skillet along with the garlic. Sauté the bok choy for 3 minutes, then add ¼ cup of water, cover the skillet and let it cook for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, ½ cup cheese, basil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the cooked bok choy.
- Spread 3-4 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on one lasagna noodle. Roll it up like a jellyroll, starting on one of the short ends. Lay the lasagna roll seam side down in the baking pan, on top of the bechamel. Repeat with the remaining lasagna noodles.
- Top the lasagna rolls with the marinara, the remaining 1 cup of cheese and some more fresh basil. Cover the baking pan tightly with aluminum foil, and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking for 5 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly and golden.
- Leftovers reheat well, and the individual rolls will freeze great too.
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