Monday, September 17, 2012

Pasta Rolls

For the picnic on the way to Crested Butte I made a recipe that I haven't made in ages, Pasta Rolls stuffed with Ricotta, spinach and Prosciutto.  I served the slices with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.  We enjoyed these with a bottle of crisp Rose (Muga from Spain) and some fresh peaches from Paonia right at the base of Cottonwood Pass.  The beauty of this recipe is that the Pasta Rolls and the Vinaigrette can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.  The down side of this recipe is that it is time consuming.
With a pasta maker, crank out a thin sheet of pasta dough about 18" in length and as wide as the pasta maker allows.  With my thick marble counters, thank goodness I have 2 big old fashion pull-out cutting boards in my kitchen. That is the only surface that I can anchor the pasta maker to.
Place the sheets of pasta on a floured surface.  Spread the spinach and cheese mixture on the pasta sheet, then 4 slices of Prosciutto and top it with thin slices of Mozzarella, leaving a 1/2" border on all sides.  Fold the long sides over the filling.  Brush the shorts ends with water and start rolling the pasta sheets up "jelly roll" fashion. 
Once rolled up, wrap in cheese cloth and tie the two ends with string.  Repeat with remaining dough and filling.  Bring 2" of water to a boil in a large roasting pan.  Add the pasta rolls, cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from the water and let cool.  Remove the cheesecloth and string, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  I found that wetting the rolls again after they have cooled, the cheesecloth will come off very easily with out sticking to the pasta.

3  cups flour
3  eggs
1/2 cup water (more if needed)
1 1/2 teaspoon water

Mix in Cuisinart until it all comes together.  Let rest for about half an hour.

3  lbs. frozen chopped spinach - defrost, drain and squeeze dry
3  cups ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1  teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
2  lb. mozzarella, thinly sliced
32 slices of Prosciutto
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Makes eight rolls.  
Serves about 14 - 16 people.  
(the cooked rolls freeze nicely)

40 or so oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (drained - reserve 1/3 of the oil)
1/2 minced shallots
1  tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups of chopped basil
1 cup olive oil (or more)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar (or to taste)
salt & pepper
Mince tomatoes in Cuisinart.  Mix in shallots and garlic. With Cuisinart running, slowly add the rest of the ingredients until creamy.  
Cover and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Bon Appetit!

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