This recipe for ham and cheese lasagna rolls is an easy-to-make version of one of Italy’s finest comfort foods, rotolo. I start by layering and hand rolling pasta sheets with savory ham and provolone cheese. The rolls are then sliced into pinwheels, bathed in a satiny cream sauce, and topped with cheese before being baked to golden brown, bubbly perfection.
Today’s recipe for lasagna rolls is a much simpler adaptation of a classic Italian dish known as rotolo.
The traditional way of preparing rotolo is much more labor intensive, requiring a much larger pasta sheet, a tea towel, and poaching. In this version, we use pre-cooked lasagne strips and the oven to simplify the whole shebang. Don’t worry though! The results are just as delectable, with half the work!
Table of Contents
- Lasagne Sheets – Be sure to choose oven-ready lasagne sheets, and NOT uncooked lasagna sheets for this recipe. They can be found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, with the cheese and fresh pasta.
- Ham – Nothing quite compares to the rich, savory sweetness of ham. For these lasagna rolls, opt for thinly sliced, low sodium deli ham.
- Provolone Cheese – This smooth, mild, and nutty cheese pairs beautifully with ham and forms the sinfully cheesy center of our dish.
- Heavy Cream – Adds intense richness and smoothness while harmonizing the other flavors into a velvety sauce.
- Nutmeg – This surprise guest subtly enhances and balances out the denser flavors in the dish with a touch of warmth and spicy sweetness.
- Parmesan Cheese – Rich, tangy, and sharp, a dusting of this complex cheese takes the dish from ordinary to extraordinary. Milder mozzarella can be used as a substitute. You can also use a blend of the two cheeses, which I highly recommend.
- Parsley – Adds a pop of freshness and a vibrant dash of color to an otherwise heavy dish.
- Prepare the Oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Make the Layers. On each oven-ready lasagne sheet, layer 4 slices of deli ham followed by 2 slices of provolone.
- Roll and Slice. Roll up each stack and slice it into thirds. Then, slice each third in half. You should end up with 6 sliced rolls per lasagne sheet.
- Prepare to Bake. Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking dish. Arrange them vertically, side by side, until the baking dish is full. Now, cover the rolls with heavy cream, nutmeg, and your choice of mozzarella or parmesan.
- Place in the Oven. Bake the rotolo for about 20 minutes, or until the whole casserole dish is golden brown and bubbling. The heavy cream will thicken as it naturally reduces down.
- Serve. Serve this dish nice and hot, making sure to spoon extra sauce over the top. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and enjoy!
Absolutely, as long as you cook it! I went with the oven-ready sheets to keep this recipe as simple and accessible as possible, but it is perfectly okay to use the boxed, uncooked lasagna sheets.
I used Rana fresh pasta sheets that are oven-ready lasagne sheets NOT uncooked lasagna noodles. You can pick these up in the refrigerated cheese and fresh pasta section of the market.
You can choose to start with the uncooked pasta, just remember this will add a couple extra steps to the process. Simply cook your pasta strips according to the package instructions for al dente results. Drain, pat dry, cool slightly. and you’re all set. From there, follow the exact same instructions to make your rolls. Easy!
Once you master the basics of this easy baked rotolo, the possibilities are almost endless. You can fill your lasagne noodles with all varieties of your favorite cheeses, meats, and vegetables. Here are a few classic combinations to get you started, but don’t let it limit you. Don’t be afraid to branch out and get creative!
• Swap out the ham and provolone for your favorite deli meat and cheese.
• Make a veggie version using ricotta with spinach, butternut squash, mushrooms, or any combination of your favorite vegetables.
• Try a beef lasagna roll with flank steak, peppers, and your choice of cheese.
• Use turkey or chicken breast with mushrooms, spinach and provolone.
• Incorporate pepperoni and mozzarella into your rolls for a pizza twist.
Any leftover lasagna rolls can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 3-5 days. It is also possible to freeze any leftover rotolo for about 2-3 months.
Keep in mind that the cream sauce might separate a bit during the freezing and thawing process. This will alter the texture a bit upon reheating, but it is perfectly safe to eat.
Once ready to reheat, pop your leftovers into a 350 degrees F oven for about 25-30 minutes from thawed, or 40-45 minutes if frozen.
Share this recipe on Pinterest!
Love this recipe? Share it with the world on Pinterest.
Ham and Cheese Rotolo (Lasagna Rolls)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
- Layer 4 slices of ham on each oven-ready lasagne sheet and top with 2 slices of provolone cheese. Roll up and slice each roll into thirds and each third in half (6 sliced rolls total for each pasta sheet).
- Place each cut roll vertically and repeat to fill baking dish. Cover with cream, nutmeg and cheese of choice.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling. Cream will reduce and thicken.
- Serve and spoon sauce over, top with chopped parsley garnish (optional).
- I used Rana fresh pasta sheets that are oven-ready lasagne sheets NOT uncooked lasagna noodles. You can pick these up in the refrigerated cheese and fresh pasta section of the market.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.