Featured Pasta and Rice Recipes — 30 August 2013

Traditional caprese and lasagna flavors rolled into one easy meal!
By:  Jodie Shield, RD

One of my favorite childhood memories was watching my mom make homemade pasta. She and her girlfriend, Margaret Monteleoni, loved getting together and turning our kitchen into a pasta factory. The room was filled with flour dust, eggshells and opera music – they loved Luciano Pavarotti!  Those women spent hours shaping the dough into perfect pasta noodles. My mom tried to pass the pasta making skills on to me. She even gave me a pasta machine as a wedding gift so my husband, Jim, could enjoy homemade pasta. Well, I tried a few times, but as a working mother of three, I just didn’t have the time or energy. Thank goodness for specialty stores! There are so many delicious and authentic brands of pasta available – even whole-wheat pasta.  I used the Fresh Market store brand to make my Caprese Lasagna Roll-Ups.  They’re super easy to make and I have lighted them up quite a bit from Mom’s original recipe.  I highly recommend you use fresh tomatoes and fresh basil and serve them with my tomato basil pasta sauce. I hope you’ll try my Roly-Poly Lasagna; it’s another family favorite.  Chow!

Caprese Lasagna Roll-Ups
Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 8 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 16 ounces shredded, low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground back pepper
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/6 inch thick slices)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups marinara sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the pasta according to the directions listed on package for al dente (cooked so that it is still firm when bitten).  Drain the pasta (DO NOT rinse with water); place the cooked lasagna noodles in a single layer on a large sheet of wax paper or nonstick surface.
  2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese and egg whites until well blended.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese.  Mix in 12 ounces of the mozzarella cheese, minced garlic, and black pepper. (I wouldn’t recommend seasoning with salt just because the cheeses already have plenty of salt).
  3.  Spread ¼ cup of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle, in an even layer from one end to the other.  Place 4 thin tomato slices over each noodle and sprinkle fresh basil over the top.  Snugly roll the lasagna noodles to the opposite end.  Spread about ½ cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a 11 X 9 inch baking dish.  Align the lasagna roll ups, seam-side down in the dish.  Top each roll up with about 2 tablespoons of the pasta sauce (covering edges of pasta so they don’t dry out while baking).  Sprinkle tops with remaining shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven, plate the pasta and and garnish with plenty of basil.  Serve warm with extra sauce.

Nutrition Information (per roll up): 306 calories, 21 grams protein, 18 gams carbohydrate, 15.5 grams fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams dietary fiber, 77 milligrams sodium

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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

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