Nidi di Rondine – Proscuitto and Basil Swallows Nests


January 20, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson

Swallows Nest

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 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”

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, I “knew” this was going “on the list

Here I present my “slightly adapted” recipe for you to enjoy too!😉🙂

Swallows Nests1

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
2 eggs
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
oil spray

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 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!”😉

Swallows Nests2

6 thoughts on “Nidi di Rondine – Proscuitto and Basil Swallows Nests

  1. […] “seemingly” like YELLING this like in Love Is In The Air Love Nests, in Nidi di Rondine and in Wrap Yourself Happy Manti […]

  2. […] ASSEMBLE, ASSEMBLE, ASSEMBLE! like in Nidi di Rondine […]

  3. Kim says:

    I have made pasta … but it is just not something I enjoy that much. However, this makes me think twice. This is absolutely a stunning dish; and the ingredients … all my favorites. I even have a pasta attachment which I should break out more often. Beautiful dish!!

  4. These look exquisite Joanne! I’ve been making pasta this weekend too-buoyed by the cooler temperatures!😛

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About me

Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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