It’s been almost three months since we’ve been sheltering at home, and I thought I would share what has become one of the highlights of this crazy time. I have started following various chefs who are posting cooking demonstrations from the comfort of their home kitchens, sometimes surrounded by their families. Watching Massimo Bottura almost on a daily basis, and seeing his son who always shows up in his pajamas, his wife who serves as his sous chef, and his daughter who does the filming, feels as close to being invited to a dinner party as I could hope for. Recently my daughter and I joined Chef Samin Nosrat on Instagram for the Great Lasagne bake-off and we both sat in our respective homes, drinking wine and listening to Samin as she fielded questions from participants and talked about her life. And now, for the past ten days I have been following The Great Big Jewish Food Fest, which has been an incredible experience, and one I especially recommend if you enjoy learning about Jewish food from around the world. It’s been such fun watching chef Fanny Gerson make her family recipe for chilaquiles, and then “having tea” with cookbook author Claudia Roden.
On one recent episode, Massimo Bottura made Rosetta di Pasta, something I had never before seen. Similar to lasagne but rolled up so that it looks like a rose, I hoped he would share that recipe, but he didn’t. So, this morning, based on what I had in my fridge, my pantry, and my garden, I came up with this version. This has been my silver lining, my inspiration, that watching a family cook together on Instagram provided me with an idea that translated into a meal for my own family.
One of the many wonderful things I heard during a class from the GBJF was a quote by someone in the food world, ” A recipe without a story is just calories.” For today, this is my story. What’s yours?
Rosette di Pasta
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a small 8 x 8 pan with tall sides to support the pasta rolls. I used a loaf pan.
12 sheets dried lasagne noodles
Simple Tomato Sauce
1-28 can diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp chili flakes
Simmer for 20 minutes and let cool, then blend.
15 oz whole milk ricotta
1 bunch fresh spinach or any greens of your choice, blanched, chopped and then squeeze excess water out. I combined greens from a farm box that I can’t identify, and sorrel from my garden.
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Take 12 sheets of lasagne noodles and lay them in a roasting pan. Pour boiling water over them so they are submerged for about 15 minutes. Then carefully separate and spread on table or counter. In the meantime mix ricotta with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Add chopped greens, cheeses, garlic, and taste to adjust seasoning. Take a heaping tablespoon of filling, and place some in the center of each lasagne noodle to make sure you have enough for all. Then using the back of a spoon spread cheese mixture over the length of the noodle. Gentle roll up and place in greased pan. Pour sauce over top. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes or till top is golden brown and crispy.