Grandma's filled pasta roll recipe

Grandma’s filled pasta roll recipe

A few years ago my grandmother, a great cook by passion but not by profession, taught me this rather unusual recipe, which I have never heard anyone say since. In fact, have you ever heard of a roll of pasta cooked in a dishcloth? Bizarre.

It is a fresh pasta roll filled with a soft cream of spinach and cooked ham, first cooked in boiling water and then baked. All topped with a sublime Tuscan ragout and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Are you ready to step back in time?

Grandma's filled pasta roll recipe

Are you ready to step back in time with my Grandma's filled pasta roll recipe?
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 5


Ingredient for the dough

  • 100 g flour 00
  • 100 g semolina flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • olive oil
  • Semolina flour for dusting

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1 kg frozen (or fresh) spinach
  • 200 g cooked ham
  • 30 g pecorino cheese
  • 100 g ricotta cheese
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • 100 g ricotta cheese (if desired)

Ingredients for the garnish


  • To prepare this unusual recipe, handed down to me from ancient generations, you must first make the dough: pour the two mixed flours on a work surface and form the classic "volcano", that is, make a large hole in the centre of the flour. Then break the two eggs into it, taking care not to spill them, and a pinch of salt. With a fork, first beat the eggs lightly and then gradually incorporate a small amount of flour from the edges of the volcano. Remember that the eggs should not come out, but if they do, don't worry, everything will work out. Continue to incorporate the flour, using your hands to form a compact dough. Now it's time to knead it by hand: dust the counter with semolina and knead the dough between your wrist and fingertips to form a smooth, elastic dough. Remember to twirl the dough on the pastry board to give a certain continuity and softness to the movements. The secret to perfect elasticity is to knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. Once formed into a ball, grease it with a little oil.
  • If you don't have a pasta machine, don't despair, it can be done by hand with a rolling pin and a lot of elbow grease. Start by flouring the dough and the pastry board with semolina, but never directly on the rolling pin to avoid sticking pieces of dough. Slightly flatten your ball with the palm of your hand and then roll it out with movements from the bottom to the top. You don't want to form a circle, but a rectangle. The trick to making good dough is to turn it often, so roll, flour and turn. Roll out the dough, flour the surface and turn it again with the rolling pin: roll it around and unroll it in the opposite direction. After repeating this process about 4 times, the dough will be quite long and you will have to roll it out almost to form the 4 corners of a rectangle. Repeat this process until, by putting your hand under the rolled out dough, you can see your fingers. Then it will be perfect! Cover with a cloth until ready to use.
  • Now prepare the filling: if your spinach is frozen, simply plunge it into boiling water and wait about 10 minutes, or until it is ready. If the spinach is fresh, wash it and place it in a large saucepan with a few tablespoons of oil. Allow them to wilt until they are ready. Drain them well from their water and place them in a bowl. Add the cooked ham, pecorino cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Blend everything with a hand blender.
  • If you would like an even creamier filling, add also 100 gr of ricotta cheese (unfortunately my dad is intolerant and I couldn't do it). Spread the filling on the pastry, level it out and then roll the pastry up to form a roll. Roll up the roll in a tea towel, compress it and secure the edges with a piece of kitchen string.
  • Place the roll in a saucepan that can hold it and the water to cover it. Now cover it with water, add a handful of salt and cover with the lid. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. After this time, drain the roll, remove it from the cloth and cut it into slices about 1.5 cm thick. Place the slices slightly overlapping on a buttered baking tray.
  • Now heat up your previously prepared meat sauce and place it on the rounds. Finish with a generous handful of Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C (392°F). Enjoy this goodness.





brunello g

Montalcino, where sangiovese ripens more amply and more beguilingly than anywhere else

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