A Sexy Valentine Dinner

PASTA ROSES WITH HAM AND FONTINA

“Roselline di Pasta alla Romagnola” is the proper Italian way to say it and I think this is a perfect Valentine dinner.

It is a speciality dish from Italy and it is supposed to resemble a “rose”

I first came upon this dish from a cookbook that I got years ago by Marcella Hazen called “Marcella’s Italian Kitchen”  don’t even know if it is still in print or not. I make this dish whenever I want to impress my man….well,  it’s hard to impress my man, he is so used to my amazing wonderfulness, and goddess like self that it is really hard on me when the bar is set so high ya know?  So I just invite company over….preferrably one where the wife hates to cook but loves to eat. You got it in the bag that way! However if your bar is not as high as mine is, and your not at Goddess status yet you will be after you make this dish…you should just go ahead and try this on your man.

It is sort of like a lasagna only fancier and prettier. It is rectangles layered with sliced ham and cheese rolled up, placed in a baking dish and covered with a pink butter and cream sauce. Heres how you do it. Yummy!

Ingredients

Lasagna noodles (if you don’t make your own)

Salt

4 TBLS butter

1 Cup Heavy Cream

1 TBS Tomato Paste

1/8 tsp grated nutmeg

An oven-to-table baking dish

1 1/2 lbs boiled, unsmoked ham, cut into very thin slices

1 lb Fontina cheese, preferably genuine Italian fontina, cut into very thin slices

A pastry brush

2 to 3 TBS freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

boil the lasagna noodles

Your going to want to cut these noodles in half long ways, otherwise when you roll them up they will be too tall.

After you boil the noodles lay them out to dry on towels

Put the strips on a cutting board and slice them down the middle

Lay the ham out on top of the noodle

I used prosciutto ham for this picture…however I think it is best to stick with regular boring boiled ham. The fontina is a really strong cheese and the prosciutto is a really seasoned ham and the two together are simply too much. Kinda like trying to make a romantic relationship work out when your both OCD.

Have your deli slice you the fontina super thin like this.

Otherwise it is really hard to do it yourself and you end up using WAY too much cheese, and you will run out, your roses will be to overpoweringly cheesy strong…and no one will come to your house for dinner AGAIN. We can’t let this happen.

See how nice that thin sliced cheese lies on there?

You will also be able to roll them up better if you take my advice and have your deli slice your fontina. It doesn’t matter if you buy it in the wrapper. Simply hand it to the deli gal or guy and tell him you want it sliced thin please.

Roll them up like this

Score about 1/4 of the way down.

Set them down in the dish that is thinly coated on the bottom with some of the cream sauce. Reserve the rest of the cream sauce for the tops of the roses

Brush the tops with your remaining butter cream sauce.

Top with the Parmesan cheese

I wish I would have not had the stretch wrap on for this picture…not sure what I was thinking! GEEZ!

Making the Sauce:

Put the butter and cream into a sauce pan and heat on medium until the cream is slightly reduced. Then add the tomato paste and nutmeg. Stir until the paste is completely dissolved and the sauce is denser than buttermilk.

adding the tomato paste and nutmeg

Stir until the paste is dissolved

Now back to the finished product, place them into a preheated oven at 450° for 15 minutes until a very thin crust forms on top.

I do this dish up ahead of time and leave it in the fridge. I then take it out about an hour before I want to put it into the oven on the night that my guests are coming over, or in your case on the night that you plan on making Goddess status.

ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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7 Responses to A Sexy Valentine Dinner

  1. Spectra says:

    This does look divine. I haven’t made pasta in ages – gluten free for me. Mmm. Ham. Loves me some ham.

    • gerknoop says:

      Thanks Spectra. You could probably make this gluten free…..I think. My sister is completely gluten free and she would probably have a recipe for pasta. 🙂 I will ask her if you like?

    • katecoury says:

      Hey Spectra, I never saw this comment….I had to scroll down a ways! Sorry! I am also gulten free these days…but I cheat a bit sometimes! lol

  2. Kadie Knoop says:

    This looks fantastic ! im going to makes some for my valentine this year. What a great idea!

  3. I have made this dish as well, from the same cookbook which is worn out and falling apart. The recipe is in a newer and hard bound book, “Marcella’s Italian Kitchen”
    I love it and so does everyone that I cook for. I did however make larger pasta pieces and rolled then then cut them into the slices. Just a little quicker I guess.
    I also use the Italian sausage (Mortadella) that Marcella eliminated and I also use
    a little ricotta cheese or other soft cheese in the rolls. All in all a great recipe, very impressive as well as delicious . . . nice job !
    We, my wife and I are in the concession business being that we are not working in the winter I have started a food blog. Just for fun and sharing at this time so you might want to check it out. It is just started so there is not much there, but it’s coming along.

    • katecoury says:

      Chris, thank you for your comment! I will try your suggestions. I usually wait until I make my own pasta for it so it is easier but that usually means I wait a very long time between making this dish! I used to cook out of her cookbook quite a lot. Do you have any other favorites from her cookbook? I will take a look at your blog. 🙂

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