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Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo (Italian Lasagna Roll Ups)

45 mins Cook
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NomNom Recipes 31

Rotolo with Roasted Spinach and Ricotta Cheese is similar to lasagna and cannelloni rolls, but better because it has brown, crispy bits. And the crunchy texture is always the best!

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Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo (Italian Lasagna Roll Ups) – NomNomWow

Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo

I’ll call it – it will be the best new thing you’ve done all year. Rich tomato sauce. Spinach and Ricotta Cream Stuffed with Parmesan Cheese and Nutmeg. Golden Brown Bubble Cheese. and a piece of brown crisp, the crown.

What is Rotolo?

Rotolo is a traditional Italian dish that is little known outside of Italy. The literal translation of “rotolo” is “scroll” or “coil”.

The original way to make rotolo is to use very large sheets of fresh pasta stuffed and then rolled up. It is quite technical and demanding as the rolls have to be wrapped in kitchen towel, boiled, sliced ​​and served with sauce.

For everyday cooking, I set this recipe aside as “too complicated”.
By the way, I found a baked version by Jamie Oliver. The way he did it was basically cannelloni made with thinly sliced ​​fresh lasagna sheets, then tossed in tomato sauce and toasted.

Not authentic, but much more practical for normal people like me. And so delicious! Those brown pieces…
Those crunchy brown bits. They cook this dish!

If you usually like cannelloni (or pasta casserole or lasagna) with spinach and ricotta cheese, you will love this rotolo. Guaranteed.

Spinach Ricotta Rotolo Rilling

Rotolo comes with all kinds of filling options. Jamie Oliver’s recipe includes meat as well as zucchini and spinach, with spinach and ricotta being my favorite option.

Here’s what you need to fill.

PS Let’s assume you didn’t forget to add the lasagna sheets in the photo above! Fresh is best, but if you can only dry it, just boil it and use as directed.

Shall we fill the meat?
Try this Cannelloni Stuffing with Spinach and Beef. Increase by 50% (i.e. use 750g/1.5lb beef or add more spinach), refrigerate (thicken) and roll!

Tomato Passata is key for this sauce. Because it’s pureed tomato, it’s the ideal consistency to make a smooth tomato sauce for the Rotolo with just 5 minutes simmering. Using canned tomato would require at least 30 minutes simmering for the chunks to break down enough to make the desired consistency for the sauce.

How to make Baked Rotolo

And here’s how it’s made:

  • Make the sauce first;
  • Mix filling, roll up, cut into thirds;
  • Place in sauce, bake!

The smell from the oven while baking is really nice.

But the moment you take it out of the oven and see it just baked, you’ll be mesmerized by its beauty… Just seeing this in real life is worth it.

These are pretty strong stuff, so you don’t need to bury them with a delicate touch. They stick together nicely (the lasagna sheets stick together while cooking) and hold their shape pretty well when scooped. see? (And wait until you watch the video!)

In fact, some of them will flap, sag, and fall on their sides, and you’ll probably rip the sides of some of them as you scoop them into the pot to serve on a plate.

And this is totally on topic. This spinach and ricotta rotolo is nothing short of elegant. Keep it simple. The best food tastes leisurely!
This dish actually has a fair amount of vegetables in it, given that there are two bundles of spinach (ahem, frozen spinach form!) and a large jar of tomato passata. So, it is usually served as it is without any side dishes on weekday lunches.

Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo (Italian Lasagna Roll Ups)

Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo (Italian Lasagna Roll Ups)

Rotolo with Roasted Spinach and Ricotta Cheese is similar to lasagna and cannelloni rolls, but better because it has brown, crispy bits. And the crunchy texture is always the best!
prep time
30 mins
cooking time
45 mins
total time
1 hour 15 mins



  • 8 - 10 fresh lasagne sheets (15 x 11 cm/6 x 4.5") (Note 1)

  • 1 cup mozarella cheese , shredded

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (for drizzling later)


  • 500g / 1 lb frozen spinach (pre chopped) , thawed and excess water squeezed out (Note 2)

  • 500 g / 1 lb ricotta cheese (NOT smooth, whipped or spreadable in tubs, Note 3)

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese , shredded

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese , shredded

  • 1 garlic clove , pressed using garlic crusher or finely grated

  • 1/4 fresh nutmeg , grated (or 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder)

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic , minced

  • 1/2 onion , finely diced (brown, yellow, white)

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 700 g / 24 oz tomato passata (US: Tomato puree) (Note 5)

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • Handful basil leaves (optional)



Tomato Sauce:

Heat oil in a 25cm/10" nonstick skillet over medium heat. (Note 6) Add
Garlic, stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add onion.
Sauté onion until translucent and sauté until golden brown. Next passata, water, chili flakes (if using), salt and pepper
Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the basil - it should be fairly thin - the sauce will thicken a lot if you put it in the oven.
Finally scoop up 1 cup of tomato sauce to drizzle over the plate. Keep the sauce warm. Filling and Assembling the :
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350 CF (all types of ovens).
Place the filling ingredients in the bowl. Mix well with a wooden spatula.
Spread the lasagna sheet with the short side forward as shown in the photo and video.
Place 1/3 cup (wrap) of filling on lasagna sheets. Wet the farthest end with water to seal the roll, then roll it up from the nearest end. Finish with a print down.
Cut the roll into 3 pieces (each piece is 1.5 cm/3.5 cm).
5 inches wide). Place the rolls with the tomato sauce filling side up.
Repeat the same process on the remaining lasagna sheets until all the toppings are used up.
Drizzle with reserved Tomato Sauce (do not cover completely, leave part open).
Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and remove foil. Brush with oil and sprinkle with mozzarella on top.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden. provide!


Lasagna sheets need to be fresh sheets from the fridge section so they can be rolled up standard 375g/ 12oz packs from Australian grocery store is more than you need - you'll have about 1/3 leftover (freeze and use in beef, chicken or vegetable lasagna) dried sheets - boil them per packet, drain then use. size - don't worry if your lasagne sheets are not exactly the same size (they come in all different sizes). They can be any size as long as they can be cut to size so they are long enough to roll up, then can be cut into 3.5 - 4 cm / 1.5" little logs. Spinach - thaw then grab handfuls and squeeze out excess water, or press through colander like I do in video. To use fresh, you'll need 3 bunches of English spinach - chop off stems, wash throughly, blanch until wilted then finely chop, squeeze out excess liquid and use per recipe (you need 1.5 cups packed, after water squeezed out). Ricotta: Paesanella brand is my favourite (vac packed baskets at Harris and delis); Don't use spreadable / whipped or smooth ricotta, these are for spreading on things so they are fluffier and creamier; 🇦🇺 Australia, do NOT get Perfect Italiano in tubs from the fridge section! It is offensively bad - powdery and terrible; Can't get good ricotta? Use one of these: 250g/8oz cream cheese softened +250g/8oz cottage cheese* Greekish spin - 250g/8oz cream cheese softened + 150g/5oz feta (preferably Danish, the creamier rather than crumbly feta, if you can find it) + 100g/3oz cottage cheese* (or more feta) * Remove excess water from cottage cheese: tip out into paper towel lined colander for 15 minutes. Passata is pureed tomato, thinner than tomato paste and smoother than crushed tomatoes. Sometimes labelled "tomato puree" in the US. You can substitute with crushed tomatoes but you will need to add and extra 1 cup of water and simmer for 20 minutes so the tomato breaks down more. Cooking vessel - if you don't have the right size oven proof skillet, just make the sauce in any frypan then transfer into a baking dish. One way to figure out the right size is to make all the roll ups, stand them upright on a plate then you'll know how big a baking dish you need. To make ahead, this is best frozen before baking. Cool the tomato sauce, then stir in an extra 3/4 cup water (the lasagna sheets hydrate even when not in oven, if you don't do this, you end up with thick tomato sauce once cooked). Assemble the dish but do not put the cheese on, freeze in an airtight container, then defrost completely. Bake 40 minutes covered (takes longer fridge cold) then top with cheese and bake 15 min per recipe. If you freeze it after baking it: defrost completely then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of water (most of it over the pasta sauce) per 6 pieces of rotolo before reheating. If you reheat it in the microwave, stick it under the grill/broiler for a few minutes (after reheating it) to make the top crunchy again, and I also recommend adding some fresh cheese, just to freshen the dish up. To reheat it in the oven, reheat at 180C/300F (covered with foil) until just warmed through ~ 15 nin. Then remove the cover, scatter over some fresh cheese then return to oven until the top is crunchy, the cheese melted and the rotolo is heated through. Nutrition per serving.
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