Lasagna Rolls and Mad Men

I am completely mad about Southern Living. Always have been and I think I always will be. Why? Because, I am not the best cook in the world, and any menu I have ever served from the magazine or a Southern Living Cookbook has been a hit. My family  “praises me in the city gates” and guests usually ask for the recipe when I serve a recipe from SL.

I also love the AMC series, Mad Men which has also been praised in the city gates. They’ve been nominated for numerous Golden Globes, won a few, and also won a few Emmys. I was hooked on the very first pilot and crushed when they had all the contractual issues that interrupted the series. I can hardly deal with the series finale coming up in 2015.

Don Draper

So tonight, I’m sharing a menu from the October 2013 issue of Southern Living that will join the North and South once again. Fortunately, there should not be a war involved this time. A simple, southern recipe to enjoy a complex television show set in Manhattan.

Tomato Basil Lasagna Rolls

Salad with Lite Creamy Caesar Dressing, and

for Dessert – Pound Cake with Blackberries

Southern Living Lasagna Rolls

The recipe:

  • 10 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 (24-oz.) jar tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-oz.) can baby artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Toppings: fresh basil, Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta (do not rinse); arrange in a single layer on a piece of lightly greased aluminum foil or wax paper.
  2.  Sauté onion in hot oil in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat 7 to 8 minutes or until caramelized. Add two-thirds of minced garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce and next 2 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Carmelized Onion
  3. Stir together ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in artichoke hearts, next 3 ingredients, and remaining minced garlic. Spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture on 1 noodle. Roll up firmly, and place, seam side down, into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles and cheese. Spoon tomato sauce over lasagna rolls. Lasagna Roll
  4. Bake, covered, at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until thoroughly heated and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with desired toppings.

Tomato Basil Sauce

Lasagna Rolls

We aren’t fancy people, so occasionally we’ve been known to have dinner on a TV tray. This is exactly how our plates look – no formal cloth napkins or crystal water goblets, just good food on a blue plate. What you can’t see is my face, as I am mesmerized by the 60’s styles, Don Draper’s darkness and the rise of both women and blacks in this era that is dominantly “mad about men.”

Lasagne Roll Dinner

I had a sliver of pound cake topped with fresh blackberries in lieu of Don’s Old Fashion. It is another contrast between darkness and light in the show, but a tad bit sweeter.

Pound Cake with Blackberries


All the drama of Mad Men called for a bit of leverage with a simple meal to enjoy with the “dark knight,” Don Draper. What do you suggest for the grand finale? I will need comfort food. Thank goodness, Southern Living will still be around.


8 thoughts on “Lasagna Rolls and Mad Men

  1. This looks fabulous and gave me a great idea for how I can fix it without the noodles. I can use either zucchini cut long way or eggplant cut long way. Thanks. Tonights dinner is in the bag!

  2. I do love Mad Men, and have been hooked since day 1…and anything Italian! I lived in Connecticut for my first 12 years and my Dad commuted to work in NYC and I remember the dresses, the cigs, the cocktails, it mesmerizes me. The thing that shocked me was how many people of younger generations got hooked, even my own children were watching long before we ever talked about it!! Thanks for the fun post, and Don Draper, yes please!

  3. I was going to cook lasagne for dinner tonight. I have all the ingredients for this recipe but the fresh basil . So I’m going to Publix for the basil and I needed to get stuff for a salad anyway. I always like trying new recipes. Coastal Living has some good recipes too.

    1. Pam, we all really like this recipe. I chop my artichokes a bit more than the recipe calls for though. Hope you all enjoy it!

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