Ricette Italiane ~ By LeeLee

Coming up with different ideas for The Flight Crew site, I thought it might be fun to have a recipe of the month. So the Board asked me to do it, of which it gives me great pleasure. However, to anyone who knows me, they are laughing hysterically as cooking and my name should never be brought up in the same sentence. I know – what kind of Italian am I that doesn’t cook? Alas, it’s true. My ex-husband used to call me a kitchen tourist (no kidding). However, I do love to eat (trust me it shows).

So how about I come up with recipes for dishes that are either favorites of Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca, or dishes that come from the areas where they were born or currently reside?

For January, I thought I would start with Ignazio. We all know how much he loves his Mamma’s Italian lasagna dish “Rosette” (not to be confused with the Italian pastry dessert). This is a dish I was not familiar with in my family, so with a little research, I found a recipe taken from the following website: (http://www.mangiabenepasta.com/pasta_roses.html). The only difference is that Ignazio’s mom makes it with white sauce. The comment in the website says that this recipe comes from Modena, Italy. I looked and found that Modena is right outside Bologna. (Bologna – sound familiar??)

Either way, don’t know about you, but this looks and sounds so yummy. ENJOY and Mangia!

s - recepie three

Pasta Roses

“Rosette di Pasta”
(Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer or pasta course)

recepie three
Pasta Roses is a unique pasta dish from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.  Known as Rosette di Pasta alla Romagnola (or alla Emiliana) they are most commonly found around Modena.  The original recipes that I found for pasta roses used ham and fontina cheese.  In this recipe I decided to try prosciutto and asiago cheese and really enjoyed that flavor combination.  You could also make pasta roses a vegetarian dish by using thin, blanched slices of zucchini and cheese for the filling.  Fresh pasta is best for this recipe but you can use dry lasagna pasta if you prefer.  Try to find flat lasagna strips without the curly edges.  If you use curly-edges lasagna, cook it first and then use a knife or pizza cutter to trim off the edges.

Pasta Roses are a beautiful dish to serve for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, a bridal shower, anniversary, or any other special occasion.

The pasta roses may be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated.  Remove them from the refrigerator about 1 hour before you plan on baking them.  The pasta should be at room temperature before you put it in the oven.


1/2 pound fresh egg pasta dough

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

8 ounces prosciutto, sliced very thin

4 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil leaves for plating (optional)


To roll and cook the dough:
Roll the pasta dough to 1/8-inch thickness.  Cut the dough into 8 strips,
4-inches wide x 8-inches long.  Cook the pasta strips 2 or 3 at a time in boiling salted water for 10-15 seconds.  Transfer the cooked pasta to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  Then place the cooled strips on a towel and repeat with the remaining strips.

To make the sauce:

Put butter and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the sauce a bit, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and the nutmeg; stir to incorporate.  Continue cooking the sauce until it is the consistency of buttermilk, about 2 minutes.  Spread half of the sauce in a shallow baking dish that is about 8 x 10-inches.  Set the remainder of the sauce aside.

To make the Besciamella (white sauce) with Zucchini Puree (taken from another recipe):
Trim ends off washed zucchini then chop or slice roughly.  Bring a small pan of cold water to the boil, salt when the water is boiling and then tip in the zucchini and cook till tender.  Strain out and immediately refresh in very cold water. Drain, place in a deep beaker and whizz till smooth using an immersion blender. Set aside.
Place the milk to heat in a small sauce pan while in another pan you cook the butter and flour, whisking them together to make the base.
When the milk comes to the boil take both pans off the heat and pour all the milk at once onto the base, whisking hard with a large whisk to blend the two into a smooth and lump free white sauce. Should lump forms don’t worry, just strain the white sauce through a sieve.
Season with salt or if you prefer with plenty of freshly grated nutmeg and about 20g of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

To form the pasta roses:

On each pasta strip, place a slice of prosciutto.  Cut the prosciutto to fit; it should not overlap the edges of the pasta.  Sprinkle each strip with some of the shredded Asiago cheese.  Roll up the pasta like a jelly roll, starting from the short side of the strip.  Cut the strips into 2 or 3 pieces that are about 2-inches high.  With a paring knife make an X cut about 1/2-inch deep into one side of each piece.  These cuts will help the roses “bloom.”
Preheat the oven to 450.  Put the roses in the baking dish with the cross cuts face up.  Press down a bit on the roses to help them open slightly.  Use a pastry brush to brush the remaining sauce over the roses.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a light brown crust forms on top. Remove from the oven; let rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Place 2 or 3 pasta roses on individual serving plates.  Tuck in a few basil leaves as a garnish.


Thank You Leelee.  Sounds wonderful and looks beautiful.  Someone please make this, freeze it and send it to me.  Thanks!  ~Marie

31 thoughts on “Ricette Italiane ~ By LeeLee”

  1. Thanks Leelee, it sounds delicious! If you could only cook, you could make it and run right down here to me!

    Marie, we wouldn’t leave you out, Leelee would make enough for you and we’d mail it!!

    1. I told Marie that we should try and cook it together. That would be hilarious, but it would be fun trying! After all, we have to perfect it for when Ignazio comes to visit, right?

      1. Me too !!! I want to be a chef too !!!! and eat it too !!! Looks delicious !!! I’m HUNGRY so lets do it soon !!!!! I promise to leave some for Ignazio and Marie !!!

  2. Absolutely! I’ll learn. I’ll learn!

    You know, of course, if he was coming over for dinner, I would be there in a few hours, with all the ingredients and an apron that says, “Kiss The Cook”!

    1. And buy an apron for him that says “Kiss the Dimple”! Now there is an idea, I wonder if he’d wear it?

  3. Wow, I have never seen nor heard of a Pasta Rose before! This could be a really cool thing to make for Portland’s annual Rose Festival in June. Thanks LeeLee!

    1. If I still lived in L.A. it would have been a fun offering for dinner during the Rose Bowl. I’ve never seen pasta roses either. They’re lovely!

    2. I’m less than 45 minutes from you, Pirate, so… (; >)

      You can do the hard work of making the pasta roses. I’ll do the hard work of giving up “gluten free” for the evening, and I’ll contribute veggies with my sauté dish… pine nuts, zucchini, tomatoes, fresh spinach, basil pesto sauce, and a sprinkling of crumbled feta. Are we on for June?!

      Oh, and tiramisu… now that’s Italian, isn’t it?!

      Calorie-free smiles,
      ~ Jeanine DuBois, Compassion’s Doorway

  4. I love the three Italian Specialties. Oh, your talking about food! Sorry Laia I misunderstood!

    Thanks for the compliment, but it was all Leelee with Linda’s encouragement.

  5. Great recipe… I have a question. Can you tell me how far apart these boys live fro each other ? I was just curious….thanks so much. Cathie

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Hi Cathie, I checked online and it seems that it is about 98 miles from Naro (Piero) to Marsala (Ignazio), then it is about 639 miles from Marsala to Abruzzo (Gianluca).

      1. Leelee, That’s flying – right?

        Don’t forget if you drive that entails a ferry ride across the Strait of Messina between Sicily and Calabria – what fun that was! It was the ferry I took from Palermo to Naples that was a nightmare to some that got seasick! We crossed in a storm – last ferry out of port and were 3 hours late in the morning for breakfast!

      2. No, Michele. I was thinking of one of those Fiat’s that drive under the water like in the Fiat commercial – hahaha (just kidding, of course).

        That ferry ride did not sound like it was fun. Too bad. Getting seasick is the worst feeling. Been there (not in Italy, though).

  6. First the music, then the scenery, and now I learn that even the food is beautiful!!! I’ll have to see if I can raid the pantry and find all the ingredients.

  7. Speaking of food…ate at Applebees last night. The menu offered Steak Marsala. So, of course, I ordered it. That’s as bad as Kelly buying bath products just because they were called “Beautiful Day”. I guess if I wasn’t Il Volo stupid I wouldn’t be part of this website. Good new was, it was delicious (would I have ordered Liver Marcala? Yuck! Maybe.). Bad news was, I had the urge to lick a dimple for dessert!

    1. Marie, you keep up with those dimples and you’re going to wind up in the ‘home’ sooner than we expected!

      Leelee, thanks for the geography lesson, the Fiat thing sounds interesting!! 🙂

  8. Linda, that’s OK, the sooner I go completely bonkers, the sooner those Delightful Dimples are with me every day. Maybe Brad and George (Clooney) will come over too! Oh I can’t wait!!! Hey! You’ll be there too remember? You promised.

    I suppose Leelee can come. She won’t cook for us but she can tour the kitchen.

    1. “I’m afraid you’ve gone off your rocker, you’re bonkers, you’re completely mad! But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are!”

    2. Marie— If your comment about crushes is true then we are all bonkers and in love for sure !!! I know I am !!!
      I am totally in love with GG — He is such an old soul in that young body and he is in my heart forever. I can endlessly look at his beautiful face and listen to his magnificent baritone voice . I think it is great how we are all so young at heart. That’s the way it should be. That is why I love everyone on this site so much.
      I am looking up some ideas for a Birthday Cake for him. Wouldn’t that be fun ? Wish I could find out what he likes !!!

      1. Joanie – I am also totally in love with Gianluca. And as for what he likes – he has said he likes chocolate! So there’s a hint for you…and just how will you send him a cake? Or are you planning to send him a picture of a cake???

  9. You have very good taste !!!!! Since we don”t know his address I guess we’ll have to send him a picture of the cake and eat it too !!!!

  10. Laia and Joanie, You guys are just silly. Wearing your hearts on your sleeves like that! Shame on both of you! Glad I don’t behave like that!

    You two, the Boys, and Michael Buble make me feel “young at heart”. And “don’t you know it’s worth every treasure on earth”:

Leave a Reply