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I recently made Marcella Hazan's "Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo" (pg. 224-227) where you're basically making a jelly roll composed of a pasta sheet wrapped around a spinach and cheese filling. In the recipe, after you roll up the pasta, you place it in a fish poacher with simmering water for 20 minutes before cooling it, slicing, and finishing it by baking it in a baking dish with a tomato sauce. I'm trying to adapt the recipe into a meat-based version and am having difficulty doing so.

My thought at first was to take the ragù & besciamella mix and to do a straight substitute for the spinach mix. But I'm not certain about whether the quality of the filling will deteriorate after putting the pasta with this fully-cooked filling to cook again in a pot of water for 20 minutes.

In the original recipe, I imagine that the poaching step is necessary because the pasta is uncooked when rolled, and the filling containing some cheese and an egg yolk is also uncooked (the spinach is cooked). If I was to instead use an entirely precooked filling (like for a lasagna made with a filling of ragù alla bolognese con besciamella), would this step still be necessary?

I've been trying to deduce this myself in looking at other similar recipes, because it seems like a lot of them do not do the poaching step and instead go straight to slice and bake. I've also tried searching Italian sources to no effect. Is there something obvious I'm missing here?

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  • I’ve seen recipes for ‘lasagna rollups’ that may be similar to what you want to do. They usually pre-cook a lasagna sheet, put the filling on, roll it up, and then bake it
    – Joe
    Apr 1 at 21:36

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