By Chef Lippe
Hand Made Roses for all the loves of my life!
Freshly made pasta in wide rectangles as for lasagne
About 1 cup bechamel sauce (1 ounce flour, 1 ounce butter, 1 cup milk, salt, optional nutmeg , 1 and a half ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano)
10 ounces Serrano Ham
10 ounces Fontinalla cheese in thinnest possible slices
2 tbsp. butter
optional: ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle on top
To make the Besciamella with Zucchini Puree:
- 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 ¼ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
To pre-cook the Pasta:
- Prepare a wide shallow pan into which you place cold milk to come about an inch high.
- Cook just 2 or 3 pasta pieces at a time in salted boiling water to which you have added a little oil, for 2/3 minutes if the pasta is freshly made. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the pan with the milk to stop the cooking. Then take out, let the milk drip off and place to dry on clean tea towels on your work surface. Turn them over to dry both sides
To fill and assemble the Rosette:
- Prepare a buttered baking dish and pre-heat the oven to 90 °.
- Spread a thin layer of béchamel on the pasta pieces, then sprinkle with grated P-R. cheese and place ham and cheese slices on top
- Roll up each in piece into a cylinder and cut into two or three even sized rolls between 1 inch and 2 inches high.
- Place them close together cut side up in the buttered baking dish continuing the process till it is full – if you have space left use crumpled balls of cooking foil to fill in the space and keep the rolls upright.
- I like to use kitchen scissors to nick the rolls in a few places and pulls out pasta “petals” turning them down a little so they stay “open” during baking.
- Melt 2 tbsp butter and drizzle this over the top of the roses, or to save calories, simply brush the tops with milk using a pastry brush or a couple of rolled up sheets of strong kitchen paper. You can also sprinkle with extra just-grated Reggiano if you like.
- Bake at 90° for about 30 minutes or till the top of the roses is crisp and golden then serve placing vertically or horizontally on individual plates as you prefer.
Variations: Leave the vegetables out altogether for the traditional recipe or use alternative vegetables, in a puree as above or simply placed on top of the ham. According to what is in season, cooked mushrooms, asparagus, leeks, fennel, artichokes, blanched Swiss Chard leaves all work well..