Pasta Ruffles with Tomato-Basil Sauce

March/April 1994

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Spinach, ham and two kinds of cheese fill precooked lasagna noodles in this pretty dish. Make it a meal: Radicchio & Fennel Salad is a refreshing start to this pretty supper.

Pasta Ruffles with Tomato-Basil Sauce

Makes: 4 servings

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  • 5 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, (with juice)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 ounces lean ham, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Soak pasta in hot water for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to color, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and basil; simmer, mashing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon, until thickened, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Stir together spinach, 1/2 cup Parmesan, ricotta, ham and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the noodles and blot dry. Spread each noodle with about about 2 generous tablespoons of the spinach mixture. Beginning with the short side, roll up each noodle around the filling. Cut each roll crosswise into thirds (or sixths if using 7-by-7-inch noodles). Stand each piece on end and score an X about halfway through the roll.
  5. Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Arrange the pasta rolls, scored ends up, on the sauce. Dab the remaining sauce over the pasta rolls, pressing lightly so that they open to form a ruffled top. Bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan and serve.


Per serving: 318 calories; 11 g fat (4 g sat, 5 g mono); 25 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 8 g fiber; 482 mg sodium; 495 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (171% daily value), Vitamin C 35(% dv), Folate (30% dv), Calcium (35% dv), Iron (18% dv), Magnesium (29% dv), Selenium (58% dv), Selenium (58% dv), Zinc (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 vegetables, 1 lean meat, 1/2 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat

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1 hour or less
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March/April 1994
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