Sending someone a dozen roses is a nice thing to do. But serving them a dozen sausage-filled lasagna rosettes? Now that’s true love. These cheesy rolls have all the makings of a classic lasagna, but rather than layering them all horizontally, we’re rolling these curly noodles around caramelized fennel and Italian sausage to create pleasing spirals that sit snugly together like a beautiful bouquet.
- In a large saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the milk all at once, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cook, whisking, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with the salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. If not using the sauce immediately, transfer it to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming; refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Cook the sausage: Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it into very small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a medium bowl and stir in the lemon zest and rosemary.
- Make the cheese mixture: Add the fennel and onion to the skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until softened, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet from time to time, as needed, to prevent sticking. Season with the salt and pepper and add to the sausage. Stir in half of the Parmesan and two thirds of the Fontina.
- Assemble the lasagna rolls: Spread ½ cup of the béchamel in the bottom of an 8 x 11-inch (2-quart) glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange the noodles on a clean work surface side by side, vertically. Brush a very thin layer of béchamel on the noodles, then divide the sausage-fennel filling evenly among them. Starting at the bottom, roll each noodle away from you as tightly as possible to create a spiral. Set each roll in the baking dish side by side snugly so that they don't unravel. Tuck in any stray filling.
- Bake the lasagna rolls: Pour the remaining béchamel all over and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and Fontina. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving.
Reprinted with permission from Lasagna, copyright © 2019 by Anna Hezel and the Editors of TASTE. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Dylan + Jeni