A delicious, carbilicious, vegetarian baked pasta dish

Baked rotolo is a tasty, filling and easy to cook alternative to pasta dishes like lasagne or cannelloni. I based this recipe on one that I saw Jamie Oliver making on TV a few years ago. Jamie’s recipe used baked butternut squash – my family weren’t keen on the sweetness of the squash, so I leave it out.

The dish is super easy to cook, and looks really pretty. Most of the work goes into the preparation (about 30 minutes). Once the dish is ready to bake, it takes around 40 minutes in a moderate oven.


Passata – one jar

500 g of fresh lasagne sheets (these must be fresh so they can be rolled)

500 g of ricotta

450 g (1/2 bag) frozen spinach (you can use fresh spinach, but will need lots)

Grated cheese to top dish

Dash of cooking oil to fry spinach



  • Pour half of the passata into an oven proof dish. Add water to the remaining passata in the jar, and shake to mix. Save for later.
  • Fry the frozen spinach in a little oil until tender. Add seasoning to taste. I like just a tiny amount of salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
  • Spread ricotta onto sheet of lasagne
  • Sprinkle cooked spinach over the ricotta.
  • Roll the sheet of lasagne
  • Cut the roll into four pices
  • Place the pieces standing in the dish of passata
  • Repeat, filling the dish
  • Pour the remaining passata carefully into the dish
  • Sprinkle the top with grated cheese – I have used mozzarella or cheddar, and either works well.
  • Bake for around 40 minutes – around 180 degrees Celsius.
  • When cooked, the pasta at the top of the dish will be crispy, but the pasta covered by the passata will be moist.

You can serve rotolo with a side salad, grilled chicken, fish or veggie alternatives (my son says you need something with it), but I honestly find it filling and satisfying on its own. It contains around 500 calories, and 26 grams of protein – depending on which/how much cheese you choose to dress it with. The spinach and passata are packed with vitamins and minerals, and all that pasta is carbilicious for runners.


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