Italian Sausage & Kale Rotolo

September 6, 2022


Italian Sausage & Kale Rotolo

Italian Sausage & Kale Rotolo

Serves: 6-8


Prep Time: 40 minutes  | Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes | Resting Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours



For the Sausage & Kale Filling and Pasta:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 Red Barn Italian sausages, casing removed
  • 1 bunch kale, leaves removed from stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1, 500-gram package lasagna sheets
  • Water, for boiling
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, grated


For the Pasta Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 5 jars (1 L) Passata sauce (or any canned pureed tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 cup water


For the Ricotta Mixture:

  • 2 cups full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper



To Prepare the Ingredients:

  1. Begin by cooking the sausage and kale filling. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large, deep pan (or pot) over medium-high heat. Add the sausage (with casing removed), ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. As the sausage cooks, use a spoon to break apart the sausage into small crumbles.
  2. Once the sausage is cooked, add the chopped kale to the pan and toss with the sausage. Cook for 2 minutes until the kale is bright green and soft. Transfer the sausage and kale mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Next, make the pasta sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same frying pan used to cook the sausage and kale. Heat over medium-high heat and add the shallots to the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until the shallots have softened and have begun turning light brown on the edges.
  4. Add the garlic and chili flakes to the pan and cook for 30 seconds, then add the passata sauce, dried oregano, dried basil, and water. Stir to combine. Heat until the sauce begins to bubble, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until ready to use.
  5. Make the ricotta mixture by combining the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg and pepper into a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
  6. Next cook the lasagna sheets. Heat a large pot of water over high heat. Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the pot and the lasagna sheets. Stir the lasagna sheets occasionally to ensure that they do not stick together. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the lasagna sheets are bendable, but still al dente.
  7. Remove the lasagna sheets from the pot and drain in a colander. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the lasagna sheets to ensure they do not stick. Toss to coat and set aside.


To Assemble the Rotolo:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove 2 cups of pasta sauce from the pot and place in a bowl. Set aside. This will go on top of the rotolo before baking.
  3. Pour the remaining pasta sauce into a 9×12 inch baking dish, or any large oven-proof baking dish.
  4. Lay 3-4 strips of lasagna sheets on a cutting bord. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of ricotta mixture on each lasagna sheet, from edge to edge.
  5. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of the sausage and kale filling onto each lasagna sheet, leaving a 1-inch border along each of the ends. This will help with rolling the rotolo.
  6. Carefully roll the lasagna sheets up into a spiral, ensuring that you keep all the filling inside the rotolo.
  7. Carefully place the rotolo spiral side up into the baking dish. The first one may unravel, so to prevent this, nestle it up against the edge of the baking dish to prevent the loose end from coming apart.
  8. Repeat the process of rolling the rotolo and placing them in the baking dish until all the ingredients are used up.
  9. Top the rotolo with the 2 cups of pasta sauce that was set aside, then top with the grated mozzarella cheese.


To Bake the Rotolo:

  1. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake, covered, in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes to allow the cheese to become golden brown.
  2. Once cooked, remove from the oven, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

  • I used lasagna sheets that are 2 inches wide. If your lasagna sheets are wider than that, roll the rotolo as directed then slice it in half to create to shorter rotolo. When nestled in the baking dish, the pasta sauce should come at least halfway up the rotolo.
  • To ensure that your lasagna sheets do not stick together when boiling them, work in batches if needed.