Lasagna Rotolo Recipe From Italy: This Is Not Your Grandma’s Lasagna by Ann Marie Patitucci

Pasta Dinner Vegetarian
a year ago

Lasagna Rotolo Recipe From Italy: This Is Not Your Grandma’s Lasagna

Lasagna rotolo may be my new favorite Italian recipe! It’s one of the rare Italian meals my mom and aunts didn’t cook when I was growing up in our large Italian family. This is probably no surprise, as rotolo is not well known outside of Italy. The word rotolo means “roll” or “coil” in Italian and can refer to any dish, sweet or savory.

Lasagna rotolo is a dish using lasagna sheets, which are filled and rolled, rotolo-style, in a creamy sauce, then baked in a tomato sauce. Think of it like this: the lasagna you’ve been making and eating for ages went on a daytime talk show and was gifted a makeover!

The authentic way of making rotolo is time consuming and a bit beyond my cooking skills (phrases like “wrap the roulade in a tea towel and poach it” are not meant for me!). This version however, is much easier and less time consuming to make. You’ll even be able to sneak some vegetables in; this easy rotolo recipe includes spinach and a whole can of tomato puree (although you can feel free to skip the spinach if you prefer).

Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Servings: 8


  • 8 - 10 fresh lasagna sheets
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  • 1 pound (16 ounces) ricotta cheese (not smooth, whipped or spreadable)
  • 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 24 ounces tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Here’s how to make it:

  1. To make the tomato sauce, heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 10 to 15 seconds, then add onion. Cook onion until translucent and beginning to turn golden, then add tomato sauce, water, salt and pepper. Simmer about 5 minutes on medium-low. Sauce should be quite thin at this point. It will thicken considerably in oven. Scoop out 1 cup of the tomato sauce which will be used to drizzle over the dish at the end. Keep sauce warm. Put the remaining sauce into the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan. 
  2. To make the filling, put all ingredients into a bowl. Mix well.
  3. To assemble, place 1/3 cup of filling (packed) onto the lasagna sheet. To seal the roll, dab some water on the end furthest away from you. Then roll up, beginning from the end closest to you. Finish with the seal down. Cut rolls into three (each piece should be approximately 1 1/2 inches wide). Place the rolls into the tomato sauce with the filling facing up. Repeat with remaining lasagna sheets until all the filling is used up. Drizzle the reserved tomato sauce over the top. Don't completely cover the lasagna; leave some exposed. 
  4. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil. Drizzle with oil and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden and there are some crunchy golden bits on the edges. Serve with garlic bread and/or a salad, if desired.

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Lasagna Sheets $3 & Up
Tomato Puree $2 & Up
Nutmeg $4 & Up

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I’ve never tried rotolo before. It looks delicious and I’m excited to try your recipe.
Elisa Schmitz
Wow, what a spectacular Italian recipe, Ann Marie Patitucci . This would be amazing during the holidays and all year round! #yum
Ann Marie Patitucci
My mom always does lasagna for Christmas or Christmas Eve so this would be a nice, but not huge change!

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