In the last few years, I have developed a deep appreciation for sweet potatoes – the taste, texture, health benefits, ease of cooking, I just love it all. BUT I hate when people serve it covered in sugar and marshmallows and all those other gross add-ins that bring down its nutritional value and natural great flavor…ick! Unfortunately for me, my husband does not share my love for this orange vegetable and although I could happily eat it with a simple sliver of butter, I had to find a sneakier way to use up my stash in the pantry and get him to eat it.
Enter: the mouth-watering Sweet Potato Pesto Lasagna Roll. Ohhh my. I found the original recipe on the Eats Well With Others blog and I just haaaad to make it. I try to stay away from pasta as much as possible (even though it is my favorite thing in the world), but just 2 of these rolls are plenty filling for dinner so it’s not too bad and you can even substitute whole grain lasagna or gluten-free/rice lasagna. Plus, the health benefits of sweet potatoes evens it out in my book…yes, I’m justifying. Now, I found some of the dry ingredient amounts listed in the original recipe a bit confusing because they were listed in ounces so I had to sort of guess here and there. If you would rather avoid the measurement confusion OR if you do not have a food processor/blender, you can ignore the basil, spinach, pine nut, olive oil, and garlic and just use about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup pre-made or jarred pesto sauce in their place.
Ingredients (makes 8 rolls):
- 8 lasagna sheets
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- Pesto: 1/3 cup basil leaves, small clump of spinach (fresh or frozen), 1 Tbsp pine nuts, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 3 cloves garlic minced
- —> OR 1/3 to 1/2 cup pre-made or jarred pesto sauce
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (DIVIDED)
- 5 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1-1.5 cups tomato basil / pasta sauce
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Bring large pot of water to boil and cook 8 lasagna sheets according to box directions until “al dente” (usually 10-12 minutes). When done cooking, line a large cookie sheet with wax paper and lay down lasagna sheets, careful not to overlap them, separating layers with an additional sheet of wax paper – you don’t want them to stick and tear!
- Wash and poke sweet potatoes all over with knife or fork and place in microwave. Microwave 5 minutes, turn over to other side, and microwave an additional 5 minutes.
- If you are making your own pesto: combine the garlic, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and spinach in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, OR If you are using pre-made pesto: measure 1/3 to 1/2 cup sauce (depending on how much you like pest0).
- In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, half of the mozzarella (half of your 1/3 cup!), Parmesan cheese, and pesto that you just made or measured.
- Cut sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh, adding it to the cheese/pesto mixture. The potatoes should be soft enough to just stir in but if you prefer it to be smoother, you can run it all through the food processor again or mash it up with a potato masher.
- In a 7×11 glass baking dish, pour about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of your tomato sauce in the bottom and spread.
- Now working on your large cookie sheet, spread about 2-3Tbsp of your filling across each lasagna sheet, roll up, and place seam-down in your baking dish, closely packed together.
- Pour your remaining tomato sauce on top and sprinkle your remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 28-30 minutes. Slowly remove foil (cheese may stick) and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow a few minutes to cool before serving. Enjoy!