Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Dinner with Old Friends

 I invited two friends I've grown up with since I was less than 4 years old.  They are actually more like family.  Kim and Kathy and Kathy's daughter Jade came for dinner and I wanted to make something that was memorable.  So I made something from my own repertoire.  I made a Caramelized Onion Pizza with Brie and Gorgenzola Cheese and a Spinach Rotolo. 

The Spinach Rotolo evolved when I started eating these great meals from a banquet hall in Vaughn.  I couldn't wrap my brain around how they could make this dish so light that it would actually melt in your mouth.  The unknown became my challenge.  After a few interesting efforts, I think I came up with something that may actually beat out the banquet hall.  I first make the pasta from scratch. A smooth dough from a simple recipe.  You can make the pasta dough a bit more rich by adding 3 - 9 eggs, but I only use two.  The pasta still melts in your mouth.  The trick is to insure that you roll the dough out very thin.  I roll it out until I can see the wood grain in my butcher block table.  I could use a pasta maker, but your limited to how wide you can make your pasta so you have to patch the strips of pasta together to make a wide enough sheet to create your rotolo. Rolling it out by hand is a labor of love, but it's well worth the end result.   

The filling.  I kept the filing as light as I could.  I used ricotta cheese, chopped frozen spinach and parmesan cheese.  I also used marscaponi cheese to balance out the flavors. I think the marscaponi cheese helps the product come together and it provided an extra element to the dish. Since I use the marscaponi cheese I omit eggs from this dish.  I find that the eggs make the filling to pasty and dry. I then add a  touch of nutmeg, salt and pepper, once combined the  rotolo is ready to roll.  I steam the roll , slice and bake it with a white sauce.

I tell you, it's pretty good. When ever I've made this dish, the first thing out of my guests mouths is Mmmmmmm.  And I was happy that  Kim and Kathy also gave it their stamp of approval.  It's worth the work, just to see your guests faces.

It's a memorable dish for all the right reasons and you can make it a head and freeze it for another day.

I also made the Caramelized Onion Pizza.  My friend Joanne gave me this recipe.  It makes for a great appetizer. It's  yummy.  It's fast to make and it taste fantastic.  You can't go wrong with this one.

Once I get some sleep, I'll post the recipes to my blog.

Good food and wine and great friends.  That's what dinner is made of

The Cookbook Addict


Anonymous said...

Kathy posted something on your Wall and wrote:

"Sharon, as usual you outdid yourself. Both dishes were more than memorable. They were OUTSTANDING!!!! I had a wonderful evening with your two gorgeous boys and adoring husband. And of course, the flowing WINE!(LOL). Thanks for a GREAT evening.See you soon!!!!!Love, Kathy & Jayde