The holy month of Ramazan is here! This year, Ramazan began in the start of June – the hottest month of the year. This means that the fast is going to be long and very challenging. However, as Ramazan is meant to teach us tolerance, thus fasting in a hot month may bring you greater rewards.

Also, the whole country is (finally) on the same page regarding the sighting of the moon – which means we will all have Eid on the same day. Yayyy!!!

Ramazan brings with it a special feeling when it comes to worship and blessings, as well as elaborate meals, festivity and the desire to help care for the less fortunate. Special Ramazan bazars and make-shift stalls for iftar and sehr will remain busy all the way up till Eid. Watching special Ramazan programs, making iftar meals and breaking the fast at the sound of azaan are all deeply embedded into the culture of Islamic societies. It almost comes naturally, as everyone seems to tune into the ‘Ramazan lifestyle’ seamlessly.

I love trying new and different snacks for tea time every day, and I’ll be sharing these with you all throughout the month.

Now, lasagna is a classic dish. However, I wanted to make it different this time. Lasagna Rolls with Stuffing has been on my mind for the last few days, and I was waiting eagerly to try it out. I’m sure you will love it more than the classic lasagna. I simply love making lasagna because it is easy to make with ingredients usually available in your pantry. Secondly, it can be prepared beforehand and stored in a freezer for later use.

lasagna-5

This new twist to the classic lasagna will be great addition to your table. Oh, and I love cheese… so yes this dish will require you to jog an extra mile afterwards.

Preparation:

Lasagna:

Ingredients

  • Lasagna Strips – one pack

Instructions

  1. Parboil pasta strips in water with a spoonful of oil and salt
  2. Drain pasta strips and rinse with cold water
  3. Space pasta strips separately on a plate to avoid them sticking together

Spinach:

Ingredients

  • Spinach Leaves – ½ kg

Instructions

  1. Wash spinach leaves thoroughly and boil for 5 to 8 minutes
  2. Drain water completely and chop spinach leaves finely

Chicken Marinate:

Ingredients

  • Chicken (Boneless or Mince) – 2 breast pieces cut into small cubes
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon
  • White Pepper – ¾ teaspoon
  • Worcestershire Sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Sweet Chili Sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

Instructions

  1. In a wok, fry the chicken pieces in oil
  2. Once chicken changes color, add all the remaining ingredients and give it a good mix
  3. Add a dash of water and simmer well until chicken is tender

White Sauce:

Ingredients

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons
  • Flour – 2 tablespoons
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Salt – ¾ teaspoon
  • White Pepper – ¾ teaspoon
  • Oregano – 1 teaspoon

Instructions

  1. In a pan, add butter and let it melt
  2. Add flour to the butter and stir well into the butter. Keep whisking the butter and flour mixture and gradually add milk
  3. Remove from flame at this point to avoid making lumps
  4. Add all the milk and mix well to form a smooth texture
  5. Return to the heat and let the sauce simmer for 5 to 8 minutes until it gets the right consistency
  6. Season with salt, white pepper and oregano

Note:  You can also add cream or cheese to make it richer

Tomato Sauce:

Ingredients

  • Onion – 1, medium size
  • Tomato – 2, large size
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves
  • Green Chilies – 3
  • Salt – ¾ teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder – ¾ teaspoon
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

Instructions

  1. Blend onions, tomatoes, garlic and green chilies with a dash of water in a blender
  2. In a pan, heat the oil and add the blended puree. Cook for a minute then add salt, sugar, red chili powder and oregano
  3. Let the mixture simmer on a low medium flame to release all the herb flavors
  4. Cook until water dries from the gravy and oil rises to the top
  5. Allow sauce to cool before use

Toppings:

  • Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese (Shredded) – 1 cup

 Assembly Line for Lasagna Rolls:

  1. On a clean counter, lay out the lasagna pasta strips and spread a layer of white sauce evenly on them
  2. Then divide the chicken and spinach evenly between all the pasta
  3. Also, add a little tomato sauce between the lasagna strips
  4. Take half the cheese and it sprinkle on top, and then divide the remaining shredded cheese between the lasagna sheets
lasagna-1

5. Gently roll the pasta strips up, careful not to squeeze out the filling or sauce

6. Place the rolls on a baking dish

7. Again, put a spoonful of tomato sauce on top of the rolls, making sure to cover the whole outside surface, especially the spiraled edges, otherwise they will turn hard during baking

lasagna-2

8. At this point, you can add the remaining white sauce if you’d like, or just sprinkle the rest of cheese on top

9. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden

10. Garnish with oregano or chopped coriander leaves (which I forgot to do in all the excitement)

11. Bon apetit!

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serving: 2

Fatima Ali

I am trained to be an IT professional. I served National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for six years after graduating from the same university. As long as I can remember, cooking good food has been my passion and it makes me happy. My cooking lessons were a bit unusual though. Back in the day when digital did not mean much, my father would record cooking shows (knorr ka kitchen, kaukab khuwaja and Zee Khana Khazana – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor) for me to watch endless times later on, before trying the recipes out. I would make brownies and cold cake almost every day while my mother was asleep. This was my way of surprising her every evening. My mother cooks amazing food too and I have tried many of the recipes written in her recipe book. I draw inspiration from a number of chefs from televised cooking shows such as Late Chef Farah, Chef Rahat, Chef Mehboob, BBC Food, Masala TV, Chef Shai, Chef Sharmeen, Master Chef Australia and my ultimate favorite Chef Shireen Anwer. I would not be as good a cook I am now without passive guidance from each one of these.