Recipe – Spinach, Mascarpone and Ham Hock Rotolo

Rotolo, not to be confused with Ronco, producers of the finest compliation albums before NOW came along… Think swiss roll pasta things full of cheese, ham and spinach, in a lovely sauce. It’s the future! Certainly it’s fun to make (and messy…) and my family really enjoyed it. Adapted from Olive Magazine. Rotolo!

For 4-6 people you will need:

  • 10 sheets fresh lasagne
  • 50g Grana Padano cheese
  • 300g mascarpone
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300g spinach
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 200g shredded ham hock
  • 200ml red wine
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • Splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Handful fresh basil, roughly copped

You’re making the sauce first, then three fillings and constructing everything before baking… In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil and fry the onion for 5 minutes, then stir half in the garlic and wine and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Turn down the heat to medium and add the tomatoes, purée, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and the basil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

Meanwhile, put the spinach in a colander and pour a full kettle of boiling water over it. Shake it well and leave to drain until ready for construction.

In another bowl, put the mascarpone, the other half of garlic, the lemon juice with liberal sprinklings of salt and pepper. Mix well and leave to one side.

Get the ham hock unwrapped, ready for construction.

In a large flat baking dish, pour a kettle of boiling water and place the lasagne sheets in for one minute, you can do them in 3s or 4s. This is just to soften them, for rolling. Be careful with the boiling water.

Empty out the baking dish and dry it off. Pour the tomato sauce into it.

Take a softened lasage sheet and spread some mascarpone over it, then some spinach, then some ham hock. You need roughly a tenth of each. Roll the sheet up the long side (so your log is a long as the short side) and cut into three equal smaller logs. Push these into the sauce, starting in a corner.

Repeat with the other 9 sheets and you should have enough to pack the baking dish. Grate over the Grana Padano and pop in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve with lovely crusty bread and butter or new potatoes.

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