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!” ;-)