January 20, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson
Hands up who would like some Nidi di Rondine? (literally, “swallow’s nest”)
This San Marino dish “spoke” out to me! Perhaps it was Nonnino in I Scream No Sugar Peach Ice Cream https://whatsonthelist.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/i-scream-no-sugar-peach-ice-cream/ who was suggesting in my mind I try! Did I mention Nonnino (Italian for “little grandfather”) came from San Marino on the Italian peninsula, near the Adriatic Sea too?😉
When I was little, I grew up around “old world” Greek and “old world” Italian families and aside from “hugging EVERYONE” and shouting (affectionately of course😉 ), I remember they seemed to be ALWAYS cooking; sauces, meat dishes, desserts etc. To me, I was “fascinated from afar” and always hoped one day the families would teach me!😉
I “particularly” remember (perhaps we always timed our visits to coincide:) the wonderful fresh pasta dough; some were kneading while others were drying, others were boiling pots of water. Mostly what I also remember was ““You’re looking too thin. You need to eat more!” (but in Italian or Greek ;-)) like in If I Knew You Were Coming Pound Cake” https://whatsonthelist.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/800/
Interestingly, I “LOVE” to knead and “LOVE” making fresh pasta; as there really is nothing like it. I also get a “proud sense” in “making my own” too! Perhaps Nonnino also taught more more than “just” being able to pick out the freshest peaches, but the freshest ingredients too!😉
As you “may” have “sensed” by now, I am a VERY visual person, so when I saw Swallow’s Nests | Nidi di Rondine on Global Table Adventure http://globaltableadventure.com/2012/12/13/recipe-swallows-nests-nidi-di-rondine/, I “knew” this was going “on the list”
Here I present my “slightly adapted” recipe for you to enjoy too!😉
Ingredients for Fresh Pasta
It is not as difficult to make as most people think.😉
I halved the ingredients; original recipe dough amounts would have made double as many Nidi di Rondine 😉
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
water as needed (even though I halved the recipe, I still used about 1/3 cup of water)
You don’t want the dough too runny, nor too dry. You get a “feel” of what’s “just right”😉
Eggs are also best used at room temperature.
In a large bowl, add sifted flour.
In the middle, make a well; add eggs. I like to use my fingertips, but feel free to use a spoon. I like the “hands on ” experience. Mix until combined.
“Slowly” add in water; kneading until it forms a “soft but sticky” ball. It is okay if it is a little bumpy as will be rolled out smooth😉
Set dough aside to rest.
I place the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. When I remove the dough, I wait until it has reached room temperature to roll.
Ingredients for Bechamel Sauce
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons grated cheese (personal choice)
1/8 tsp allspice
pinch of salt
This probably goes against every recipe of making proper bechamel sauce, but I have never had a bad sauce yet!😉
Add all ingredients in a sauce pan, making sure to whisk all ingredients until they are “well” combined over medium heat. I continue to whisk until ingredients boil; adjusting seasoning for personal taste; Set aside to cool.
Time to roll the pasta!😉 I also enjoy rolling too!😉
On a slightly floured flat surface, roll dough until “very thin”
The more you roll, the more likelihood the pasta will stick to the flat surface, so after a couple of rolls, I pick pasta up moving it 90 degrees (quarter of a circle) to insure does not get stuck.
I rolled dough to measure 12 inches by 12 inches. How do I know? I used a ruler and measured😉; squared off pasta so it would be easier to roll.😉
Ingredients for Filling
10 – 12 slices (10 – 12 ounces) prosciutto (I love proscuitto😉 )
2 ounces fresh Italian basil
3 tablespoons parmegiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated (adjust to personal taste)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Assemble, Assemble, Assemble! (I must really like saying that like in Wrap Yourself Happy Manti https://whatsonthelist.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/1252/ lol)
Hint and Tip:
I used a pastry brush and “lightly” brushed some bechamel sauce onto the fresh rolled pasta.
I “slightly” overlapped the proscuitto, layered basil and “rolled” (long ways “tightly” upwards) I then placed the cigar type roll on a flat tray lined with “slightly oiled” baking paper placing it in the freezer for about an hour. This makes it “much easier” to cut into 1 1/2 inch slices.😉
The less parmegiano-reggiano cheese you add to the top of the Nidi di Rondine, the lovelier the design too!
Remove from freezer; cut into slices; brush sides of the Nidi di Rondine with olive oil so they don’t stick to each other.
In a “slightly oil” sprayed oven proof baking dish, place the cooled bechamel sauce.
Can place half the bechamel sauce on the bottom of the baking dish; half on top. I placed all of it in the bottom. (personal preference)
Place rolled slice (facing upwards) into bechamel sauce; “gently” push down into sauce; top with parmegiano-reggiano cheese.
Pre-heat oven to 325F (~160C) for about 50 minutes; until lightly golden brown and ENJOY!
If you could roll two or three ingredients to make Nidi di Rondine, what would you choose?
Now repeat after me, “I AM as hungry as can be!” lol lol lol And now that Nidi di Rondine – Proscuitto and Basil Swallows Nests were “on the list” and now are “off the list” , I want to make this recipe NOW too!”😉