What better way to woo the love of your life than with this quirky Italian pasta recipe?
Not only is it guaranteed to create some “Ah’s” and “Oo’s” as it appears from the oven but the combination of melted cheese and parma ham, together with a velvety bechamel sauce, makes this an indulgent tasting dish- perfect for sharing with that special someone in your life.
The best bit is that the “roses” are easy to create if you follow the instructions below and you can either make the pasta from scratch or if you prefer to skip that part, you can simply buy some ready made fresh lasagne sheets and use those instead.
If making your own dough, you can also try making pink pasta roses. Click here for dough recipe.
Vegetarian option: If preferred, omit the ham.
Timing: If making fresh pasta give yourself plenty of time (as pasta needs to rest for about an hour), plus with prep work and cooking, you need to allow for around 3 hours in total.
|Fresh pasta dough or ready made lasagne sheets
|Parma ham (thinly sliced)
1. Either make 350gms of fresh egg pasta dough or if you prefer use ready made lasagne sheets. (If doing the latter, follow cooking instructions on the packet)
2. If using your own freshly made dough, use a rolling pin or pasta machine to create 8 thin strips. These should be about 10cms wide, 20 cms long and about 1mm deep.
3. Cook your fresh pasta sheets for about 15 seconds in boiling water (cook only 2 or 3 strips at a time to stop them sticking together) and go cooling each batch in a bowl of iced water. Place the sheets separately onto a clean tea towel.
4. Lay a slice of ham on each sheet followed by a sprinkling of finely grated Gruyere. Leave a border between ham and edge of pasta. Don’t use too much cheese as you need to be able to roll it up.
5. Once you have finished putting ham and cheese on each pasta strip, roll up each strip as if making a Swiss roll.
6. Cut each strip into 2 pieces about 5 cms long (or adjust if using ready made pasta). Then using a sharp knife cut a cross one end each roll (about 2cms deep.) This gives it the rose shape. Only slice one end of each roll.
7. Next make the sauce: Gently heat melted butter and cream over a low heat. Add the tomato purée and nutmeg and stir for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens. Then set aside.
8. Spread about half the sauce onto the bottom of a medium sized, shallow baking dish or pyrex. Carefully place each pasta rose on the sauce, with the cross part facing upwards. Gently prize open the “petals”.
10. Gently coat the rose “petals” with the remaining sauce, using a pastry brush. Finish by sprinkling grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta.
11. Bake in a moderate oven (180 C/350 F) for about 12- 15 minutes or until the Parmesan cheese turns golden brown. Rest dish for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with sage or basil leaves and serve 🙂
Serve with a crisp fresh salad and a glass of chilled Prosecco. Enjoy!
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