Rosettes - A Beautiful Baked Pasta
Vincenzo has been making pasta rosettes for many of our recent cooking events, and everyone has asked for the recipe, so here it is! This is a really special dish that is beautiful and absolutely unique in taste. These rosettes are inspired by a dish that Salvatore and Antonio from the Castello Delle Serre created for us on our very first visit during our honeymoon.
This past winter, in the middle of the lockdown, we had lots of creative time in our home kitchen. One weekend, I asked Vincenzo if he could recreate the pasta rosettes I remembered eating at the Castello. As we were searching our refrigerator for ingredients, Vincenzo discovered a couple of eggplant that we needed to use. So, we sliced the eggplant really thin, grilled it, and paired it with the smoked ham and cheese for the filling. I asked Vincenzo for a pretty sauce, since this pasta looks like a rose, and he came up with the idea to use a Pink Sauce (combining heavy cream and tomato sauce).
We really were a bit doubtful that the baked pasta would be a hit with both of us (I was not sure about the eggplant), but the minute we both took a forkful of this pasta dish, we looked at each other with big smiles and said "Wow, this is incredible!" And, it was so beautiful on the plate. We both decided it needed to be added to our menu options for private dinners and cooking events.
You can have us come and make this with you, or make it at home. If making it at home, feel free to try this with dried lasagna pasta (either the flat sheets or the noodles with ruffles). You may need to roll it and cut it a bit different, but it is totally worth it in the end.
We hope you love this dish. Enjoy this baked pasta with a Chianti Classico for the best wine pairing. Tenuta Arceno Chianti Classico is one of our absolute favorites because it is grown on the land just around San Gusme. I love stocking up from Wine.com.
Chef Vincenzo Giangiordano
2 large eggplants
Fresh pasta sheets (6-8 sheets around 8x12 inches)
*Note: can use dry lasagna pasta ribbons, but you may need around 10 of these
Thin sliced smoked ham (about 8 ounces)
Shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
Grated parmesan cheese (8 ounces)
24 ounces (750 g) strained tomato sauce (we love Pomi)
8 ounces (240 ml) heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Prepare the Eggplant
· Slice the eggplant lengthwise in to thin slices (about ½ inch).
· Salt on both sides and place on paper towels to get rid of the water inside the eggplant. Or, you can salt on one side and layer the eggplant in layers inside of a colander with a towel over the top – add a weight to the top (such as a heavy bowl) to help the water drain out of the eggplant.
· Let sit for at least an hour.
· Rinse off the salt and pat dry.
· Prepare the grill (on the stovetop or outside grill).
· Grill each slice (dry, not oil) over high heat for about 2 minutes each side.
· Place the slices on a baking sheet and let cool.
Prepare the Pink Sauce
· Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan.
· Add the strained tomatoes and heavy cream.
· Stir together over low heat.
· Add salt and pepper to taste.
· Let simmer over low heat for one hour.
Assemble the Rosettes
· Cook the pasta just to al dente in salted water (about 3 minutes for fresh pasta. Follow the box directions for dried pasta). Place the pasta sheets in ice water to cool them off and stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry. Place on a tea towel until you are ready to roll the rosettes.
· Place one pasta sheet on a flat surface, such as a wooden cutting board.
· Lay the grilled eggplant in one layer over the pasta sheet.
· Next, layer the smoked ham over the eggplant.
· Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, followed by parmesan cheese.
· Roll the sheets – like you are making a jelly roll or cinnamon rolls.
· Cut the pasta into sections about 1 1/2 inches wide.
· Place the rosettes in a 9x12 inch baking dish that you have sprayed well with spray oil. These can be placed very close together.
· Continue with each pasta sheet until you have about 20-28 cut rosettes.
· Pour the pink sauce over the rosettes.
· Sprinkle the rosettes with additional mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
· Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees.
· Bake for 30 minutes.
· Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
· Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and extra parmesan cheese to serve.