Like Penicillin and Potato Chips

….this recipe came about by accident.

I was putting away groceries and knocked over a bag of almonds  in the pantry. I scooped up the spilled ones from the shelf (they never fell to the ground) and tossed them into a bowl figuring I would snack on them while I cooked lunch. Lunch was shaping up to be some sort of pasta (I had water on to boil); but hadn’t gone beyond that. I was tentatively thinking of adding some leftover bleu cheese to the pasta; when I thought to mix the almonds and bleu cheese together because nuts and cheese make my heart sing. Then I started thinking wouldn’t the nuts stick to the pasta better if I ground them first? And added some olive oil? And salt? And honey for sweetness? And rolled the filling into sheets of lasagna? And….you can see where this is going. Where it ended up was with a light and savory twist on a pasta rollatini. Perfect for warmer weather when you’re pasta cravings may veer from the tomato sauce and mozzarella variety.

Accidental Bleu Cheese Almond Rollatini
1 oz (about 22) Raw Unsalted Almonds (or Walnuts if you prefer)
2 oz bleu cheese crumbles
1 tbs honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs red wine or balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbs olive oil (depending on consistency preference)
Lots of cracked black pepper
pinch of sea salt
4 sheets of WW lasagna noodles, cooked (you don’t want the no-bake ones here).
2 tbs Parmesan cheese
Mixed greens for serving (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350.

In a small food processor, grind almonds into bits. Add cheese, honey, garlic and grind until you have a pesto consistency (still chunky). Stream in vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Scrape down the sides, and pulse for a few more beats. I didn’t want this to be smooth, I liked the texture and crunch; but you could certainly smooth it out further by streaming in a bit more olive oil and grinding further. Taste here; add black pepper and salt (I urge you to taste first; as the cheese is quite salty and you want to account for that).

Place one heaping tablespoon of filling on one end of lasagna sheet, roll up, securing the seam underneath. Place rollatini in a lightly greased casserole dish.  Repeat with remaining 3 sheets and filling. Sprinkle rollatini with Parmesan cheese and bake for just about 10-15 minutes. We’re just warming everything through and toasting the Parmesan a bit. Gently place rollatini on a bed a mixed greens, lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.  Serves 1-2.

Serving suggestion notes:
I love the simplicity of serving this over greens; but prior to baking, you could add a bechamel or alfredo sauce for a heartier entrée. I also love the idea of mixing the filling with a cooked cold short pasta, like shells or penne, adding some dried cherries and serving it as a cold pasta salad for lunch.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    I think this is the same way they invented the Reeses Peanut Butter cup – someone knocked the chocolate into the peanut butter! Or maybe that was just a story made up by some clever ad agency – those crazy ad people…think you can market your little roll-a-tini’s as treats for Halloween?

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