Lasagnetta Au Gratin
with buffalo ricotta and zucchini flowers
- Buffalo Ricotta
- Buffalo Mozzarella
- Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese)
- Taggiasche Olives
- Squash Flowers
- Fresh Tomatoes
Nowadays, going with the season is much more than a suggestion, it’s an absolute unwritten rule which embraces wellness and ecofriendly principles. The 80’s and their excessiveness – not just in the kitchen – have come and gone, therefore we’ve said goodbye to oysters up in the mountains and strawberries in the winter. In the menu of “La Beola” Restaurant, we’ve made room for buffalo cheeses, aromatic herbs and zucchini, in the season during which they grow even in our grandparents’ gardens.
The preparation begins with the filling. Stir-fry the diced zucchini in a small pot with a drop of extra virgin olive oil. After a few minutes add the coarsely cut squash flowers, seasoning with salt and pepper, and remove everything from the stove as soon as the flowers begin to wilt. Then pour everything into a bowl containing the ricotta and the diced buffalo mozzarella, a tablespoon of parmesan and 2 or 3 taggiasche olives. Finish off the filling with a bit of extra virgin oil, a few leaves of fresh oregano and some hand-torn basil. Mix everything and season to taste with salt and pepper.
I throw the fresh pasta (one sheet and five discs) in boiling water for one minute, just enough time to blanch it, and after draining it I put it in ice water to stop the cooking process. Before preparing the lasagnetta, I dry the fresh pasta in a clean cloth. I then butter a round ramekin and cover it with the pasta sheet, and this is where I start to “build” the lasagnetta: one spoon of filling, one pasta disc, one spoon of filling, one pasta disc… until to the last spoon of filling, on top of which I place one buffalo mozzarella nugget before closing the lasagnetta using the flaps of the pasta sheet and twisting the top by hand.
Finish by putting the lasagnetta ramekin inside a pan with a half inch water bath. Drizzle some butter and parmesan on the surface. Place in the oven for 12 minutes at 190° C (375° F), then place it in a deep dish, garnishing it with the “crudaiola” sauce – raw peeled and diced tomatoes, seasoned to taste – and aromatic herbs.
The perfect summer dish, even for banquets of numerous people which may also be organized on the porch of “La Beola” Restaurant at the Grand Hotel Majestic, right onto the garden.