Prep 40 mins
Cook 40 mins
Knowing I love asparagus, my friend Pat recently made this very unusual pasta dish for my birthday. It was amazing!! The flavors of the cheese, nutmeg and asparagus blended so nicely and were enhanced by the crispy crust. It was served with a spinach and strawberry salad and frozen lemon pie...all of my favorites and a perfect combination! Pat made this ahead and reheated it in the microwave to just warm before serving. The freezing instructions from the cookbook authors are included. It is from the Joy of Pasta by Joe Famularo and Louise Imperiale.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup penne, cooked al dente
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup Fontina cheese, coarsely grated
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- fresh ground black pepper
- 18 asparagus spears, fresh (not canned)
- 15 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed if frozen
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a small saucepan, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter, add the shallots and saute briefly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a bowl, add the penne, shallots, ricotta, fontina, parmesan, eggs, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Combine well.
- In a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter over very low heat. Keep warm.
- On a large work surface, place 1 phyllo sheet, short-end close to you, and brush with the melted butter.
- Keep remaining phyllo sheets covered with a damp towel while you work.
- Top phyllo sheet with another sheet, brushing with melted butter. Continue until you have layered 5 sheets of phyllo.
- Spoon 1/3 of the pasta mixture along the short end of the layered phyllo closest to you, leaving a 1/2 inch border on all sides.
- Top pasta with 6 asparagus spears.
- Very carefully roll the end of the phyllo closest to you away from you, encasing the penne and asparagus.
- Fold in each edge, lengthwise, and continue to roll jellyroll fashion, brushing with a little more butter to make it stick together.
- The pasta roll will be about 10 inches long and about 3 inches wide.
- Repeat this procedure with the remaining phyllo and filling until you have 3 phyllo rolls.
- Place the phyllo rolls seam-side down on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
- With a sharp knife, make slight scores, on the diagonal, into each roll - as you would bread. Be careful not to cut too deep or you will have the mixture coming out and it will not look pretty.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until very golden.
- Let sit 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Penne wrapped in phyllo freezes beautifully for up to 2 months. If frozen, place into a 325F oven for 50 minutes.