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Zucchini & Tomato Lasagna Rolls

zucchini-tomato-lasagna-rolls

Lasagna rolls with zucchini, tomatoes and cheese

Four strips of lasagna, one poor zucchini, a little cheese and an onion - could I make dinner for both of us with these? That was the problem I was faced with. Wow.

Thanks to a can of chopped tomatoes, some garlic and fresh basil from the garden, the answer was yes. I love the challenge of creating interesting meat-free recipes with the ingredients to hand and often, they become firm favorites and I make them time after time.

The small amount of pasta wasn't enough to create a proper lasagna of course but by rolling the other ingredients inside the cooked lasagna strips, this became quite a hearty meal served with some French bread.

I prefer recipes that are quick to prepare because I'm always so busy and he's always so hungry!

These are the items I used

zucchini-tomato-lasagna-rolls

To serve two people

  • 4 strips lasagna
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Cheese - I used brie to go inside the rolls and cheddar for the topping
  • A little olive oil

Preparation

zucchini-tomato-lasagna-rolls

PASTA

Put a large pan on a high heat and three-quarters fill it with water and bring to the boil. My kettle boils water faster than the stove top does so I boil the water in there and then pour it into the pan. Fold the pasta slices into the boiling water. Turn the heat down slightly but keep the water at a rolling boil to keep the pasta moving so that it doesn't stick. The packet will tell you how long you need to boil the pasta.

ZUCCHINI

The zucchini is then sliced along its length after being topped and tailed and thoroughly washed. Heat the oil in a skillet / frying pan and when it's warmed through, add the zucchini slices. Watch these carefully and turn them when necessary. You want the zucchini slices to be softened and if they become a little browned, that's fine too. Somehow this adds to the flavor.

ONIONS & GARLIC

Remove the zucchini from the pan and place in a lined sieve (see below). Keep the pan on the heat and add the chopped onion. Stir occasionally and after a few minutes add the chopped garlic. When the onion is soft, add the contents of the can of tomatoes, sauce and all. Simmer this gently. There are two other things you can do at this stage - season with salt and pepper (I just use pepper) and, if you have it, pour in a little red wine. If you'll be using the regular oven preheat to 400°.

Drain

Cooked zucchini for lasagna rolls

Cooked zucchini for lasagna rolls

DRAIN THE ZUCCHINI & PASTA

Place paper towel in a sieve and add the cooked zucchini slices. The paper will absorb the oil. Add another sheet of paper towel on top and pat gently. This too will absorb the oil. Still in the paper, put the zucchini aside while you strain the pasta which should now be perfectly cooked al dente Run the pasta under running cold water and then lay the sheets out on a chopping board or other clean surface.

Assemble the rolls

Assemble the zucchini lasagna rolls

Assemble the zucchini lasagna rolls

MAKE THE ROLLS

With the pasta strips flat on a work surface, add the zucchini slices. Add dabs of cheese (brie in this case) and fresh basil leaves. Of course, this is very open to experimentation. You could use other herbs or vegetables. I'm intend to try fresh baby spinach leaves in place of the basil. (When my basil plant gives up the ghost, as they always seem to. Does anyone have tips for keeping then alive?).

TOMATO SAUCE

With a spoon, add some liquid from the sauce to an ovenproof dish. You only need enough to cover the bottom.

Roll up!

Preparing lasagna rolls

Preparing lasagna rolls

ROLL THE PASTA

Now just roll up each pasta strip and place in the oven-proof dish on top of the tomato sauce liquid. Pour the remaining tomato sauce on top and put into the oven.

CHEESE

Grate the remaining cheese. Remove the dish from the oven, sprinkle the cheese over the rolls and bake until the cheese is becoming golden. You can use the regular oven or a toaster or halogen oven if you prefer.

Serve

Lasagna roll ups

Lasagna roll ups

SERVE THE LASAGNA ROLLS

Plate the rolls and serve with the tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. This is good with a simple side salad and lovely bread from a French stick. The bread should be used to mop up the delicious tomato sauce!

Further reading

Although I wouldn't claim that these lasagna vegetable roll ups are authentically Italian by any means, the inspiration certainly is. One of the wonderful features of Italian cooking, especially for vegetarians, is that many of the greatest Italian dishes come from peasant communities where money (hence meat and fish) is scarce. This means that traditionally, Italian recipes make the most of local produce - in other words local vegetables and cheese. There are some excellent recipe books that particularly feature Italian vegetarian cooking.

Italian wall art for your kitchen

Is Italian cooking the most popular in America? I was going to say England too where it's amazingly popular but Indian food supersedes it. But in America, or at least where I live, Italian restaurants are always packed and it can be hard to get a table. We solve this problem by often eating Italian-inspired dishes at home (which saves a lot of money) and a little inexpensive Italian style wall art, a bottle (or two) of red wine and a candle in a Chianti bottle quickly gives us the same atmosphere!

Lasagna or lasagne? Courgette or zucchini?

When I first came to live in the USA from England, there were many linguistic and spelling challenges. The linguistic ones were tricky because the area I come from in England has its own heavy dialect and although my two home countries both speak English, I sometimes felt that I was talking a foreign language. Spelling was tricky too and one example was lasagna.

You see, I was accustomed to lasagne. Yes, it's only the difference of one letter but it's the sort of pedantic detail my mind would become fixated with. It turns out that lasagna in Italian refers to a single strand of the pasta and lasagne is the plural. (A little like pizza and pizze). Even the spellchecker on my American computer doesn't accept lasagne as being a valid word.

And then there was the whole zucchini / courgette debaclé. I had convinced myself that for some bizarre reason, courgettes didn't exist in the States. Until I realized that they were going under the disguise of zucchini.

Thank goodness that a tomato is a tomato in both countries ... except my pronunciation is completely different. Oh dear.

Photography credits

All photographs taken on an iPhone in my kitchen during the preparation of this meat-free lasagna dish.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

What do you think?

Scindhia from Chennai on June 12, 2014:

Looks yummy!

BuckHawkcenter on June 06, 2014:

Looking for something to make for dinner tonight and here it came. Just perfect.

nuxa76 on May 28, 2014:

so simple yet so good

amandascloset0 on April 24, 2014:

I love Zucchini and tomatoes are my favorite food on the planet. This is a great looking combination. I can't wait to try it.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on April 07, 2014:

@ecogranny: That's a good way of looking at it - thanks! I'm going to persevere with the basil. I probably won't have much luck but the flavour is worth the attempt.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on April 07, 2014:

Fabulous recipe! What an innovative way to pull together a few ingredients from the pantry and make a gourmet meal.As for the basil, in the garden it needs plenty of good rich soil and other plants around it to give it cooling shade during the hottest part of the day but not so much that it hasn't plenty of sun exposure the rest of the time. I haven't enough sun in my north facing windows to keep a basil plant alive, so I have no experience with the indoor kind.At my house, I have to think of potted herbs as a slightly longer-lasting, fresher version of cut herbs, alas.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on April 06, 2014:

@Elsie Hagley: Thank you for letting me know about National Cheese Month - a great excuse to eat my favourite food :)

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on April 06, 2014:

As it's National Cheese Month I think this recipe will go down well. Beautiful photos.

Carol Houle from Montreal on March 03, 2014:

I will try this, but not with Brie. Perhaps with Parmesan flavored bechamel sauce.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on March 01, 2014:

@Ibidii: Thank you! It's very good.

Ibidii on March 01, 2014:

Looks really good! I cannot wait until my daughter cooks this for us! :)

Radgrl on February 23, 2014:

I love the presentation. The pictures got my attention and made the recipe look easier.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on February 18, 2014:

@Fiorenza: Recipes have to be easy for me :)

Fiorenza from UK on February 18, 2014:

Looks scrummy and easy to do which is even better!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on February 15, 2014:

@Beadsnresin: What a great idea! I'm going to try it this week.

Rom from Australia on February 14, 2014:

Thanks, these look really good and different!! Have you ever tried them with eggplant? Could be like a Parmigiana roll lolbtw - I'm a lasagne/zucchini kinda gal lol

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on February 09, 2014:

@PeacefulHeather: That's the wonderful thing - it's so adaptable :)

PeacefulHeather on February 09, 2014:

Sounds awesome! Not too sure about the brie though. I love that kind of cheese, but no one else in my family does. I might try fresh mozzarella on the inside and then a mozzarella/Parmesan mix on the outside. I am also really intrigued about the idea of the spinach. That sounds great!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on January 22, 2014:

@DeborahDian: It is. It's even cold in Florida right now!

Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on January 22, 2014:

This sounds like a great winter meal ... which I could really enjoy right about now! :)

anonymous on November 18, 2013:

Don't you just love swirling chunks of bread around in a good sauce and then chomping down on it? That's what I call good eatin'. I love zucchini, tomatoes and lasagna but I'd have to get a substitute for the basil. And you're absolutely right about the kettle getting water hotter, quicker. Why can't I ever remember that when I'm cooking?Great photos, great lens - thanks for sharing.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on November 06, 2013:

@Merrci: Thank you - enjoy!

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on November 06, 2013:

Will have to give this a try. Looks delicious, especially if I use the spinach. Your photos make it look very appetizing!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on October 13, 2013:

@Adventuretravels: Hope you enjoy it!

Giovanna from UK on October 13, 2013:

Here you go again making me hungry! I think it's your wonderful photos. I'll give this tasty recipe a try sooner rather than later. Thanks

MakeHairBows on October 13, 2013:

It looks divine, thanks for sharing...

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on October 08, 2013:

@federico-biuso: Interesting - thank you!

federico-biuso on October 08, 2013:

Good recipe!!! By the way, in Italy, where lasagna/e comes from, we use "lasagnA" or "lasagnE" without discrimination :)))

WriterJanis2 on October 08, 2013:

Totally yum!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on October 05, 2013:

@sousababy: Thank you - it's very tasty :)

sousababy on October 05, 2013:

Oh, I always seem to be left with 4 lone lasagna noodles. Now I know how to use them up. Brilliant idea.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on September 23, 2013:

@DawnRae64: It's easy and tasty.I promise :)

Dawn from Maryland, USA on September 23, 2013:

Like! And it seems like something i could actually do without ruining. :)

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on September 19, 2013:

@anonymous: Please do - it's good :)

anonymous on September 19, 2013:

Great looking recipe! Will try this one....:)

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on September 15, 2013:

@Mamabyrd: I hope you do - it's delicious very easy make. (And inexpensive - I like that particularly!)

Mamabyrd from West Texas on September 15, 2013:

These look delicious and healthy. I still have a few zucchini left from my garden that I need to use up so I may have to give this lasagna a try.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on September 14, 2013:

@emma_07: It's very tasty indeed :)

emma_07 on September 14, 2013:

Simply Delicious !!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on September 06, 2013:

@poutine: It certainly is :)

poutine on September 06, 2013:

Sounds really good

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on August 31, 2013:

@TwilightLurker: If I can make it, anyone can :)

TwilightLurker on August 31, 2013:

What a tasty idea! As someone that loves lasagna, I really want to give this a try to thanks to how clearly it's all outlined here and also thanks to the marvelous photos, even someone like me should be able to make and enjoy this dish. Terrific!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on August 29, 2013:

@SusanDeppner: I hope you do, Susan, it's good.Thanks for dropping by!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on August 29, 2013:

Wow, does this sound ever-so seasonably delicious! Must try!

Stephanie from Canada on August 20, 2013:

This looks so good! I'm not sure I'm motivated enough to make pasta rather than just get store bought, but I would love to try this if I do become motivated.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on August 09, 2013:

@othellos: Thank you so much!

othellos on August 09, 2013:

Very innovative idea to use the best Italian ingredients to make a vegie dish. Congratulations:=)

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 27, 2013:

@angelatvs: Enjoy!

aboutkitchenrev on July 27, 2013:

Hi I've never tried that sort of recipe. But Wow - that looks delicious...going to go out and make it this weekend. Have a great day...

angelatvs on July 27, 2013:

Fabulous idea! Can't wait to try this.

phamdiep on July 25, 2013:

I'm hungry up

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 24, 2013:

@paynui: Oh, I wish we had!

paynui on July 24, 2013:

Every summer we have lots growing in the veg patch.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 22, 2013:

@JohnTannahill: Haha - thanks fo rthe chuckle, John :)

John Tannahill from Somewhere in England on July 22, 2013:

See I thought a zucchini was a two piece swimsuit worn by animals.Seriously, I often find myself in a similar situation but there's usually a bit of chorizo involved. Did I just swear in church?

anonymous on July 22, 2013:

Hey, that looks like a great idea! Will have to try that. Thanks

LUMOSE on July 20, 2013:

Great idea for a quick lunch.

soaringsis on July 20, 2013:

What a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

trying2Bhealthy on July 19, 2013:

Looks good. Worth a try. You are most creative!

ChristyZ on July 18, 2013:

This looks like a great recipe, I know my family would like this one and it looks pretty easy too!

Tom McHugh from Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA on July 18, 2013:

Looks great. I can't wait to try it.

RinchenChodron on July 18, 2013:

Looks delicious and fast!

LeslieMirror on July 17, 2013:

Looks promisingly tasty. Will try, definitely. In summer by hot weather, I hate eating meat.

anonymous on July 16, 2013:

Excellent, yummy recipe!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 16, 2013:

@number43: It's very good :)

savateuse on July 16, 2013:

What a great idea !

hessa johnson on July 15, 2013:

A great way to use up my zucchini! Thank you!

yourlocalpt on July 15, 2013:

How i love lasagna. it taste good. one of my favorite food

number43 on July 15, 2013:

That looks really good:)

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 15, 2013:

@wiseriverman: Maybe tomorrow?

wiseriverman on July 15, 2013:

I wish I could have that for lunch today but can't. :(

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 15, 2013:

@simple-mom: That would be a great variation.

leobond on July 15, 2013:

good!

Christine V from Philippines on July 14, 2013:

This looks delicious. I would love to try this. My daughter likes eggplant; perhaps I can use it instead of the zucchini.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 14, 2013:

@ghoststorylover: Ooops!

ghoststorylover on July 14, 2013:

I think you're making me hungry!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 14, 2013:

@Scarlettohairy: Spinach is a great idea - thanks!

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on July 13, 2013:

Yum! I'm not a big fan of squash of any kind but I think I'll try making these with spinach. What a great new recipe to try!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 13, 2013:

@k4shmir: Thanks for dropping by!

k4shmir on July 13, 2013:

enjoy reading your lens. thanks for sharing

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 12, 2013:

@HappyTom LM: Thank you - enjoy!

Tom Christen from Switzerland/Ecuador on July 12, 2013:

It looks really yummy! Thank you very much for the great idea, I will do that soon...

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 12, 2013:

@SBRTechnologies1: Thank you - they certainly are good :)

SBRTechnologies1 on July 12, 2013:

Those lasagna rolls look unbelievly delicious.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 12, 2013:

@DreyaB: I sometimes think that French is easier than American :)

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 12, 2013:

@Susan Zutautas: Thank you - they are very tasty and easy to make!

DreyaB on July 12, 2013:

That sounds very tasty. I'm a Brit in France so I know what you mean with some of the lingo troubles! :)

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 12, 2013:

Your lasagna rolls look delicious!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 12, 2013:

@Legenden: Thanks for dropping by!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 12, 2013:

@smine27: Thanks!

Legenden on July 11, 2013:

Thanks, this is great :D

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on July 11, 2013:

Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 11, 2013:

@Rhonda Lytle: That's lovely of you - thank you!

Rhonda Lytle from Deep in the heart of Dixie on July 11, 2013:

Oh, man, now I'm starving. That looks better than the Italian I had at the restaurant.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 11, 2013:

@Mary Crowther: Thanks - let me know if you try it :)

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 11, 2013:

@mina009: Thank you!

Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on July 11, 2013:

Looks so tasty!

mina009 on July 11, 2013:

Lovely recipe, great lens!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on July 11, 2013:

@tammywilliams09: You'll enjoy this :) It's very easy and quick to make too.