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