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!
Lasagna noodles (if you don’t make your own)
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
Your going to want to cut these noodles in half long ways, otherwise when you roll them up they will be too tall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.