Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Memories


When I was a kid, I was a curly towhead, which means my hair was so blonde it was nearly white.  My mom would sometimes fix my hair in a bun.  When it came time to take the bun out at night, she would brush out my hair and I looked liked Gilda Radner playing Rosanne Rosannadanna from Saturday Night Live.  Yes, I know I'm telling my age.  I loved it when my hair was like that.  I used to love Saturday Night Live when I was a kid.  It was a lot cleaner back then. The original cast was nicknamed "The Not Ready for Prime-Time Players," and included greats like John Belushi, Jane Curtain, Laraine Newman, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner and Dan Aykroyd.  They were hysterical! Steve Martin also had a show that came on before it where he did his recurring theme of wearing an arrow on his head and saying, "I'm a wild and crazy guy."  Good times.  TV sure has changed a lot in my time.

In fact, while there are more technological changes by the minute, it's not as fascinating as some of the changes I went through.  I remember the first day of MTV, back when they actually played videos.  I remember the first home computer. I remember the first microwave.  It seemed to take up half of the kitchen counter and took like eight minutes to heat up something small.  But it beat heating up SpaghettiOs or a can of green beans on the stove.  I remember the first walkman, the first VCR, the first CD player, the first cell phone.  I remember when our TV only had about six channels.  Crazy, I know.  Yes, it used to be that way.

Anywho, none of that really has anything to do with my recipe today.  I just had a random thought and it took off.  This recipe is for Chicken & Spinach Lasagna Rolls with Alfredo Sauce.  It's really pretty easy to put together, and it tastes amazing!  I hope you enjoy it!

CHICKEN & SPINACH LASAGNA ROLLS WITH ALFREDO SAUCE
FOR THE ROLLS:
2 C cooked, shredded chicken
Two 10-ounce packages frozen spinach
One 15-ounce container of ricotta
1 egg
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C shredded Mozzarella, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 lb lasagna noodles

FOR THE SAUCE:
1 stick butter
2 C heavy cream
One 5-ounce container of shredded Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste

NOTES:  I boiled the whole package of lasagna, but I only got 14 rolls and there were about 5 or six noodles leftover.  It will just depend on how thick you spread the filling.  Also, you absolutely have to turn the heat off on the sauce and whisk in the Parmesan cheese in small amounts.  If you don't, the cheese will seize up and the sauce will be grainy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, thaw the spinach in the microwave.  Put the spinach in a towel and squeeze out as much water as you can.  Put the drained spinach in a bowl and mix in the chicken, ricotta, egg, Parmesan, 1/2 C Mozzarella, garlic, and salt & pepper to taste.  Set aside until ready to use.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a pot.  Add in the cream and bring to a boil.  Add in the garlic and turn off the heat.  Whisk in the Parmesan cheese in small amounts until the sauce is smooth and all the cheese is incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.

Lay the lasagna noodles out.  Spread about 3 T to 1/4 C of the chicken filling down the length of each noodle.  Roll the noodles up and place them in a greased casserole pan. When all the rolls are in the pan, pour the Alfredo sauce over the rolls and top the rolls with the remaining 1/2 C Mozzarella cheese.  Cover the pan and bake it for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue cooking a few minutes to lightly brown the cheese.  Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley, if desired. 

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