As I've mentioned before, one of the things I've enjoyed about my marriage is learning all kinds of new recipes from my in-laws.
The exchange goes both ways - recently, my brother, Dan Sweet, requested a dessert for his birthday that my mother-in-law, Donna Wyko, had served for my husband's birthday back in February. My mom e-mailed my mother-in-law for the recipe, and Dan got his chocolate eclair dessert. Mom even experimented with a gluten-free version for me.
I've also passed along my share of recipes to my in-laws.
Tribune Chronicle / Mary Beth Wyko
Florentine Roll-Ups are an easy-to-make family favorite that look like you’ve slaved in the kitchen all day.
When I?started thinking about what to make for this Tribune Cooks article, it didn't take long for me to come up with a recipe. At my mother-in-law's request, I'm sharing one of my mom's recipes with her - and all of you - Florentine Roll-Ups.
This is one of the Sweet family's favorites. My brother requests it quite a bit when he comes home from college on the weekends, and Mom usually makes a separate dish of gluten-free roll-ups for me.
I made this dish for my in-laws not too long ago, and it got rave reviews from them as well. It's a pretty easy dish, but it's one that looks (and tastes) as if you've slaved all day in the kitchen. My mother-in-law says that the dish is even better a couple days later.
16 ounces lasagna, uncooked
4 cups (2 pounds) ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup green onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce, divided
Grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Lay flat on foil to cool.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl stir together ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, spinach, green onion, egg, pepper and salt.
Spread about 1/3 cup cheese mixture on each piece of pasta to within 1 inch of end; roll up.
In 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish, spread 2/3 cup spaghetti sauce; place roll-ups seam side down in dish.
Top with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cover, bake 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Though the recipe calls for cheddar cheese, I substituted an Italian pasta cheese blend, and I also like to use more spinach than the recipe calls for.
I made the spinach rolls gluten-free for the purpose of this article, but a word of warning for those of you who avoid wheat - this recipe really works better with old-fashioned, wheat-filled pasta. When I make this with gluten-free lasagna, I have a hard time keeping the pasta from falling apart when trying to get it out of the pot and onto my cutting board to roll them up. The gluten-free variety also doesn't keep its shape out of the oven the way the ones with regular pasta do.
The recipe makes a lot of roll-ups, so it's a good dish to take to a potluck supper or to share at a family get-together.