Roses…Sweet and Savory

Photo Dec 03, 2 09 55 AM SWEET AND SAVORY

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone,

Well, I am back from my mini vacation visiting my son in upstate NY. In between going out and about on my visit, I spent my time cooking my son’s favorite foods along with a Thanksgiving dinner.

His refrigerator and freezer are stocked and now I am a happy mom.

He doesn’t have time to cook for himself with his work schedule and I feel better knowing that he is eating a home cooked meal instead of fast food.

While upstate, I had to visit my favorite grocery store, Wegmans. You all know by now that I just love that store. I am waiting for the day that they build one where I live.

Bob calls it Diane’s Disney for good reason. (I even went during snow flurries. Nothing was going to stop me.)

Anyway, we bought the most delicious (& huge) apples in Wegmans. On the way home, Bob asked if I wouldn’t mind making a dessert with them even though I had been cooking all week. So in the car, (I had eight hours to think driving home) I was trying to think of something to make with the apples. The usual apple pie and apple turnovers came to mind and then I thought about apple roses. They look beautiful and can be served warm with vanilla ice cream.

I always have puff pastry in the house and I had the other ingredients as well, so apple roses it is.

I had this recipe for a long time. I copied it from a post in Pinterest and I really don’t remember the original site I was on to tell you.

In addition, I have the perfect apple shaped dishes to serve them on.

I bought the apple dishes in Sur La Table when I went in to shop for a cast iron pan and found the dishes instead, along with an apple platter.

Here is a pic of my apple roses. They are Huge!

I told you the apples were big. Normally, I would serve 2, but with this size I chose to serve only one per plate. (Recipe will be at the end of the post.)

Photo Dec 03, 2 00 41 AM APPLE -CLOSE


Since I was making a sweet “rose”, I decided I should make a savory rose and complete the meal. I had the perfect entree in mind too.

On our last trip to Boston, Bob and I ate in a great restaurant in the North End of Boston on the Freedom Trail called “Restaurante Limoncello” and I highly recommend it. I loved everything about this restaurant.

I had the best mussels and clams Calabrese style (spicy) appetizer I ever had. No other restaurant ever came close to the taste of that dish.

On the menu, their signature dish was “Rosette Limoncello”,  rosette means rose. Pasta roses? I had to order it and a beautiful plate of pasta shaped like roses in a cream sauce filled with ham and fontina cheese came to the table-  just delicious.

One day while browsing the “Chowhound” website, there was an article by “farmersdaughter” about pasta roses using the renowned Italian cookbook author, Marcella Hazan’s recipe. I finally had my recipe.

All in all they didn’t look too difficult. Much easier than I had imagined, but time consuming. Of course I had to make a little tweak. Her recipe calls for ham and Fontina cheese; I made mine with prosciutto and Asiago cheese. A combination that Bob and I like a little better.

The roses make a beautiful presentation for a primo piatto (first course) for a dinner party or the holidays.

Two or three roses with some basil for a garnish and you are done.

Here is the pic of my Rosette di Pasta (Recipe at the end of the post)

Photo Dec 02, 7 14 00 PM CLOSE UP


I hope you try either of these recipes and add them to your holiday menu.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,




Apple Roses

Photo Dec 03, 2 00 06 AM APPLE ROSES

serves 6


2 apples (pink lady, braeburn, or honeycrisp)
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Flour, for dusting
3 tablespoons apricot or strawberry preserves
Powdered sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a standard muffin tin.

Core the apples and slice in half. Using a very sharp knife or mandolin on the second setting, slice paper thin 1/8-inch slices and immediately sprinkle and toss in lemon juice prevent browning.

Toss in the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Microwave the slices for 45 seconds, or until soft and pliable enough to mold.

Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Cut six 2-inch wide strips of dough.

In a small bowl, combine the preserves with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave for 30 seconds if it was refrigerated. Spread evenly over each strip of dough.

Arrange about 10 apple slices lengthwise in a straight line, overlapping slightly, on a strip of dough.

Fold up the bottom part of the dough and begin tightly rolling the dough to form the rose shape. Press the edge to seal. Repeat for all the pies and place in the muffin tin.

Make ahead: at this point the unbaked assembled roses can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 1 day before baking as directed.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Pastries are best served the day they are baked but can be stored in an airtight container and rewarmed in a 300°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until warmed through and flaky again.


Pasta Roses

Photo Dec 02, 7 14 00 PM ROSES 2

Recipe for Roselline di Pasta alla Romagnola (Pasta Roses with Ham and Fontina) from the Chowhound article…

Serves 6


about 1 pound fresh pasta sheets, cut about 4″ wide and 10″ long
4 T unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 T tomato paste
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 1/2 lbs boiled, unsmoked ham, sliced very thin
1 pound fontina, shredded
about 3 T grated parmigiano-reggiano

Cook the pasta strips 2 or 3 at a time in boiling salted water for a few seconds, then remove from the water with a spider and shock in ice water. Rinse each pasta strip well in cold water and rub together to remove as much starch as possible—as Marcella says, “as if you are doing a fine laundry.” Lay the strips out on the counter on a towel and repeat with the remaining strips.

Preheat the oven to 450. Put butter and cream in a small saucepan and heat to medium and reduce the cream a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the nutmeg and whisk lightly to dissolve the tomato paste, continuing to cook to thicken the sauce to about buttermilk consistency, about another 5 minutes. Spread a thin layer of the sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

On each pasta strip, place a single layer of sliced ham and then cover with a layer of cheese. My ham slices were exactly 4″ wide so no trimming was necessary, but the ham should fit the slice without overlapping it on the sides. Roll up the pasta like a jelly roll and place seam-side down on the towel while you do the other rolls. After you have done all the rolls, cut them in half so they are about 2″ thick. Then with a paring knife on one side of each ring, make an “X” about 1/2″ deep. This will help the roses “bloom.” (Mine didn’t bloom as much as I wanted, but they still looked very pretty.)

Put the roses in the baking dish with the cross cuts face up and distribute the remaining sauce over them with a pastry brush. Press down a bit on the roses to help them open slightly. Sprinkle with the parmigiano-reggiano and bake for about 15 minutes, until a light crust forms on top. Let them sit for about 5 minutes before serving. (Everything but the baking can be done in advance, just make sure that if you make it ahead and refrigerate it that it’s at room temperature before you put it in the oven.)


Give these recipes a try and let me know what you think.

Photo Dec 03, 2 09 55 AM SWEET AND SAVORY

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4 thoughts on “Roses…Sweet and Savory

  1. Linda

    Wow Diane! You really can do anything! I am very impressed! I will have to try your Apple rose dessert. I don’t think Dan would like the rose pasta! Wonderful!


  2. aries041158 Post author

    Hi Linda, The apple roses are very easy. You will have no problem at all with the recipe. I add a tray of roses to a dessert buffet table or for a small group as an individual dessert. Let me know what you think after you try them. Merry Christmas.


  3. Loretta Lawrence

    Diane I love your site. You are an artist and love these roses. Wish there was a flavor tab on the page. You have a great talent and interest in cooking and making the family table inviting. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah with many blessings. Loretta Lawrence



    Diane you are an artist. Wish there were flavor tabs on your site. As always I love your style, interest and love of a beautiful and delicious table. Merry Christmas and happy hannaka



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