Wish Upon A Dish: Pasta Rosettes w/Spinach-Ricotta Mousse

October 28, 2012

Pasta Rosettes w/Spinach-Ricotta Mousse

I love picking up cookbooks that I haven't opened in too many years and putting my own spin on the recipes. Nowadays even my rural market gets gourmet foods and super-sized supermarkets have come to Sussex County. If there is money, there will be international foods.

I remember when I didn't have to travel back to my home town to buy fresh mozzarella and Prosciutto d' Parma. We still don't have a Whole Foods near by but I have my fingers crossed.

This recipe calls for mascarpone cheese and if I tried to make this 5 years ago, I would have no idea where to buy it. Now I can make my own because I found a blog with excellent instructions.

I am calling mine rosettes. I am not calling them roll-ups because I am baking them ruffle side up and they look like rosettes. Why not just make a lasagna? I did not think the filling would souffle with the weight of everything. I wanted an airy, fluffy filling and I wanted something different. I think these would be a perfect way to start a holiday dinner and you might consider serving just one as an appetizer.

I decided to use store bought dried ruffle-edged lasagna noodles instead of fresh to make it accessible to everybody. I had to tweak the directions to work with the pasta but I think it came out great.

I know most cooks don't have 10 (4") tart pans so I used a muffin tin and although the original recipe grouped 12 rolls into one tart pan, that would only work if you were using fresh pasta sheets and cut them into 1" pieces. With the standard boxed lasagna noodles, I figured 3-4 rolls, my way, for each serving.
The pans are just for baking, the serving is done in a pasta bowl. So either way they are removed from any pan you use to bake these in and no one will know.

Precook the pasta for 2 minutes shy of box directions. Immediately drain them into a bowl of cold water.
Remove to a towel lined sheet pan and pat to dry. At this point you can place a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper between each sheet of pasta, accordion-style, rolled and stored in the fridge for up to two days.

I used Stouffer's Spinach Souffle (which is the only one I buy and it's wonderful), letting it defrost but not baking it. If you are using a non-souffle spinach, say a bag of creamed spinach or frozen chopped, add the egg in the recipe and just defrost (squeeze the frozen chopped). If you try it with the souffle, omit the egg. If you forget, it's OK.

Two things you need to know - you can prepare everything a day ahead and assemble the morning of the day you are planning on serving these. Took me 30 minutes to assemble. You could even bake these off the day before, we all know that baked pasta dishes taste better the next day. If you are bringing these to someones house, I would transport them in the muffin tin, then pop them into the oven while the bird is resting. 

Pasta Rosettes w/Spinach-Ricotta Mousse
makes 12 rosettes (3 each)
  • 6 ruffle-edges lasagna noodles, cooked, drained and rinsed
  • 1 recipe filling (recipe follows)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoon parmigiana reggiano cheese, grated
makes 24 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 6oz of frozen chopped, creamed or souffled spinach
  • 1 egg
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 oz goat cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Melt butter and spoon 2 teaspoon into each muffin cup.
2. Mix filling ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Cut each lasagna noodle in half lengthwise.
4. Spread 2 tablespoons filling along the middle of each noodle and roll up loosely, so the filling does not squeeze out.
5. Place a rosette in each muffin cup, ruffle side up and tent with foil.
6. Bake covered for 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with parmigiana cheese and bake for another 10 minutes, until the tops are browned.
7. Spoon a ladle of spaghetti sauce (your favorite) in a pasta bowl, top with three rosettes and serve.
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