NIDI DI RONDINI
1 12-ounce package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup marinara sauce (⅓ cup more later)
1¼ cups grated mozzarella
½ pound prosciutto or deli-sliced ham
⅓ cup marinara sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
8″-x-8″ casserole dish
kitchen scissors or scissors
Serves 5. Takes 1 hours 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. (Do not let noodles stick together. You might need to cook them in batches.) Drain noodles. Spray flat surface. Place lasagna noodles flat on flat surface. (Do not let them touch each other.)
While noodles cook, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Gradually add in flour. Stir frequently until well blended. Gradually add milk until the sauce thickens. Stir frequently. Add salt. Stir until blended. This is the bechamel sauce. Remove pan from heat.
Pour ⅔ cup marinara sauce into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Spread bechamel sauce evenly over all the noodles. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the bechamel sauce. Place proscuitto strips over the bechamel-mozzarella lasagna noodles. (If necessary, trim or fold prosciutto strips so that they are narrower than the noodles.)
Roll up lasagna noodles so that they form a tight cylinder. Place lasagna cylinders upright and close together in casserole dish. (If necessary, place wadded-up balls of tin foil in casserole dish to keep lasagna cylinders from falling over.) Make four ½” cuts at the top of each lasagna cylinders. Pull the lasagna between the cuts down and out a bit. so that they look like rose petals.
Drizzle ⅓ cup marinara sauce over the lasagna cylinders. Sprinkle cylinders with Parmesan cheese. (Not so much that you can’t see the rose-petal design of the lasagna cylinders.) Bake for 35 minutes or until the tops of the cylinders turn crisp and golden brown.
1) Nidi di rondini tastes great. Anyone making this entree will be immediately be hailed as an amazing chef and host.
2) If you are up for a Nobel Prize, you would do well to serve this dish to the judges.
3) As of press time, it is not illegal to do this.
4) So, what are you waiting for?
5) Nidi di rondini comes from the great, but tiny country of San Marino.
6) Despite being the size of a rather large postage stamp (24 square miles, 61 square kilometers), the San Marinese have preserved their independence for 1,816 years.
7) The above number is accurate as of the time of writing. Please increase the above number by one for every year after 2021.
8) Anyway, how did this tiny country maintain its independence from many other countries with much bigger armies such as: the Roman Empire, the Papal States, the French Empire under Napoleon, Italy, and Hitler’s Germany?
9) Simple. As culinary historians will tell you, soldiers with red hair make the fiercest warriors in the world. San Marino has always had fighting redheads. The chefs of this happy land commemorates their heroes with these rolled-up lasagna rolls topped with marinara sauce.
10) However, the most famous fighters in the world come from Scotland. Neighboring England failed for centuries to conquer the Scots, The English armies quailed, broke ranks and fled in terror whenever they caught sight of all that Scottish red hair.
11) The only success the English had came from their archers. But, of course, the archers were to far away to see the hair color of the Scottish pikemen.
12) One wonders why the English army never colored their hair red. Then the Scottish warriors would have fled whenever came in contact with the English.
13) What if? What if all the countries of the world made their soldiers die their hair?
14) All armies fear fighting fierce redheads. With all armies comprised of gingers, no army would dare attacking any other.
15) Peace would break out.
16) There you have it. Dye the hair of all combatants red.
17) I see a Nobel Peace Prize in my future, as long as I remember to serve nidi di rondini to the judges.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.
Beautiful dish. I can definitely see Noble prize in your future! 🙂
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