Meatless Monday – Lasagne Pinwheels with Confetti Topping

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When the cat’s away, the mice will play… As soon as my husband left town for a golf trip, I seized the opportunity to invite some girlfriends over and serve pasta that is oozing with creamy ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan.  (Add wine plus gossip times eight ladies equals fun night). A creamy dish like that would normally make my husband run from the room screaming, so if I want to indulge it has to be when he’s not around. When we first met, his aversion to creamy white foods like mayo, sour cream and yogurt was so strong that it would make him physically ill (or at least he thought it was physical). I discovered this ‘fun fact’ by accident one morning while he was powering through a big stack of pancakes. On pancake number four, I casually mentioned that I put one tablespoon of plain yogurt in the pancake batter. His fork went flying across the room and within minutes he was curled into a ball of misery on the couch. Needless to say, I married him anyway.

The lasagna pinwheels did not disappoint. What could be bad – perfect pretty pinwheels resting in a simple marinara sauce topped with zucchini, tomato and caper confetti. They are simple to make and can be prepared ahead of time (even frozen) and thrown in the oven at the last minute.  Mini lasagna is perfect to serve to a group as they are small, two or three bite morsels and they make a nice, clean presentation and no messy cutting or layers sliding about.

This meal was all about yumminess but there are many substitutions that can be made to make this a healthier option.  I used a whole grain lasagna noodle rather than the regular but there are also wheat and gluten free versions, even one made with artichoke ‘flour’.   Ricotta, made with sheep’s milk is usually the gold standard in pastas and desserts but it can be replaced with a lower fat cottage cheese , clotted cream, fresh goat cheese or queso fresco. Vegans can use silken tofu mixed with a little olive oil, nutmeg and seasoned salt.  Feel free to use any combination of cheeses, just keep the total amount the same.  You can also add a layer of wilted spinach or kale for an extra nutrient and flavor boost.  It’s easy to make your own pasta sauce, but as a time saver you can use any prepared pasta sauce and it will come out just fine.

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We finished our meal with mini Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse cups, each miniature glass dish holding only about one scant tablespoon, perfect when you really just want a taste and don’t want to commit to an entire dessert.  I found the glass dishes at Ikea.  They were very inexpensive and I have since discovered many uses for them.  For the Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse recipe click on this link:

Lasagne Pinwheels

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1/2 (16 oz) package curly lasagna noodles (9 but make a few extra since some come apart during cooking)
1 14 oz container of ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 Tbsn Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
4 Tbsn chopped or shredded fresh basil
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, small dice
1 zucchini, small dice
1 Tbsn capers, drained
  • Prepare marinara sauce (recipe below) or use your favorite.
  • Prepare lasagna noodles as label directs.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Return noodles to saucepot with cold water to cover.
  • Combine all cheese, pepper and 3 tablespoons basil in a large bowl.

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  • Drain lasagna noodles on a clean kitchen towel.  Spread rounded 1/3 cup filling on each noodle and roll up jelly-roll fashion.  Slice each rolled noodle in half, crosswide.

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  • Spread tomato sauce evenly in the bottom of baking dish.  Arrange lasagna rolls, cut-side down, in sauce.  Cover loosely with foil and bake 35 to 40 minutes in 375 degree oven.
  • Heal oil over medium heat in medium skillet.  Saute onion until tender.  Stir in zucchini and cook a few more minutes.
  • Stir in diced tomato, capers and remaining basil and heat through

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  • To serve, place sauce and lasagna rolls on plates and spoon confetti topping over the top.

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(original recipe for Three Cheese Lasagne Rolls from the Step By Step Cookbook by Good Housekeeping)

Marinara Sauce

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsn fresh basil, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsn olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar <
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan and saute garlic for a few minutes.  Add basil and crushed tomatoes and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil and add salt.  Simmer about 45 minutes.
  • Before serving add balsamic vinegar and stir to combine


6 thoughts on “Meatless Monday – Lasagne Pinwheels with Confetti Topping

  1. This looks amazing! I love hearing your personal stories to go along with each meal, so charming! Can’t wait to try it!


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