Although a lesser-known pasta dish, rotolo's a real showstopper that will impress dinner guests
Serves 4
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In rotolo dishes, lasagne sheets are used to make a filled roll that’s either wrapped and boiled, or baked in sauce. Although a lesser known pasta dish, its nature allows for beautiful combinations of ingredients to go with, such as this one with pumpkin, spinach, cheeses and more.


  • 1.2 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, chopped coarsely
  • 6 clove garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 120 g baby spinach
  • 400 g fresh ricotta
  • ½ cup (40 g) finely grated parmesan
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 4 fresh lasagne sheets (185 g)
  • 125 g butter, chopped
  • 12 fresh sage leaves

Preheat oven to 200 C. Place pumpkin and garlic on two oven trays; drizzle with oil, season. Roast 30 mins or until golden and tender. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins; discard skins.


Meanwhile, boil, steam or microwave spinach until wilted; drain. Cool. Using your hands, squeeze excess water from spinach; chop coarsely.


Place pumpkin, spinach, ricotta, parmesan and egg in a large bowl; stir, mashing pumpkin pieces slightly, until combined. Season to taste.


Place two pasta sheets, one above the other with the long sides slightly overlapping, on a 45 cm square piece of muslin. Spoon one-quarter of the pumpkin mixture along the long side in front of you, to form a smooth log (this ensures the centre of rotolo is plump). Spread another quarter of the pumpkin mixture over the rest of the pasta, leaving a 3 cm border at the opposite long side. Using the muslin as a guide, and starting from the long side closest to you, carefully roll up the rotolo to enclose the filling. Wrap rotolo in the muslin, tie a knot at each end and secure with kitchen string at 5 cm intervals. Don’t tie too tightly as rotolo will expand slightly during cooking. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets, pumpkin mixture and another square of muslin.


Bring a deep, large flameproof baking dish or fish kettle of salted water to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Carefully lower rolls into water; simmer, uncovered, 20 mins or until pasta is cooked (rolls will feel firmer). Remove rolls from water; stand 2 mins.


Meanwhile, heat butter in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat; cook 2 mins or until golden brown. Add sage; cook 30 secs or until crisp. Remove from heat.


Unwrap rotolo; discard muslin. Trim ends, then cut each rotolo into six thick slices. Divide slices among plates; serve drizzled with sage butter sauce.

TIP You will need two 45 cm square pieces of muslin and a wide baking dish large enough to fit both the rotolo.


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