Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Cottage Cheese Lasagne Roll-ups

NAME: _Cottage Cheese Lasagne Roll-ups

Pasta: (If making from scratch)
400g OO flour
3 eggs plus two yolks from filling (see below)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
(Otherwise, 12 - 16 premade fresh lasagne or canneloni sheets)

1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp chopped salt-preserved lemon rind
1 brown onion chopped
8 cloves garlic (See Method)
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Grapeseed oil mixed
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1 - 2 cups cottage cheese
1/3 cup fresh fine grated Romano
3 roma tomatoes
3 halves oven-roasted roma tomato
2 egg whites (add yolks to the pasta dough if making from scratch)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Cooking salt to season.
Around 1 cup shredded sharp cheese such as cheddar.
Around 1/3 cup of finely grated Romano.

Make the sauce.
Chop half the garlic cloves roughly. Add the oil to the saucepan, heat close to smoking, add the chopped onion and the rough-chopped garlic. When onions are just beginning to turn golden, add the tin of chopped tomato and the chopped salt lemon rind, the basil, and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, leave simmering for at least half an hour, preferably two. Depending on which pasta you are using, you may add half a cup of stock or water. (See Notes)

Make the filling:
Mix the egg whites and grated Romano into the cottage cheese, add salt to season, mix some more. Set aside. Slice the fresh roma tomatoes and the oven roasted romas, set aside.

Prepare the pasta. 
If making from scratch, place flour in a mixing bowl, add a teaspoon of salt, mix through, make a well in the centre and add the 3 eggs and 2 spare egg yolks, mix through. The mixture should initially be crumbly but slowly come together after around five minutes mixing (by hand) and form a hard dough ball. Add water as necessary to achieve this very hard consistency.

Make a well in the dough, add some olive oil, knead on a board, keep making a well and adding more oil a few drops at a time until all the oil is absorbed into the dough. Keep kneading for at least five minutes, then roll the dough out into a log about 3cm diameter and as long as it makes. Cut in halves successively until you have 16 slices, roll these out as quickly as possible using a pasta roller, to the #7 setting. Try to get the patches of dough as wide as the pasta machine will allow, and lay the pieces out interleaved with waxed paper.

If using prepackaged sheets, cook in boiling water until almost done, and allow to surface dry without washing.

Prepare the dish itself:
Spoon enough cottage cheese mixture onto each sheet of pasta to cover completely, lay several slices of fresh tomato interspersed with slices of oven roasted romas along one edge, sprinkle a little chopped fresh basil over the tomato. Roll each sheet so the tomato edge ends up inside lengthways.

Spoon a bit of the sauce into a baking dish, lay the lasagne roll-ups in so there's a little space between them, top with the remaining sauce. Place in 185C degree oven for 45 minutes, then remove from oven, sprinkle the cheddar and Romano evenly over the top, increase oven temp to 200C, and return the baking dish to the oven for a further 15 - 20 minutes.

Serve immediately, spoon a little of the sauce over each plated pair of roll-ups.

Technically, this is a form of canneloni, but not quite. You could use ricotta but cottage cheese makes this a much heartier meal. Fresh pasta may take a bit longer at 185C to cook properly, as it goes in fresh and uncooked. That's okay, the way to test is to cut a pinwheel slice off a roll-up and see - if there's white showing in the pasta dough where you cut it, it isn't cooked through yet.
If using prepackaged pasta, it will be 3/4 cooked when you pull the dish together so the sauce can be quite thick. If using fresh pasta, you may want to add half a cup of water to the sauce to better cook the pasta, which will absorb some of the liquid.


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