Swallows nest pasta is an original recipe from the little country of San Marino. In Italian it is called nidi di rondine which translates to swallows nest and it gets the name because the rolled up pasta somewhat resembles a swallows nest. Mine, not so much but it truly was a heavenly bite!
Seriously, we absolutely loved this recipe. It was a large pasta noodle that was smothered in an amazing bechamel sauce then topped with fontina cheese and more cheese and a slice of prosciutto and basil leaves. All this is wrapped up into a roll that is supposed to look like swallows nest pasta. A marinara is in the bottom of the baking dish and some put on top with, yes, some more cheese. It is baked and served warm.
We actually had some left over and it was even better the next day, I think a lot of pasta dishes are like that, don’t you?
Did you know that the constitution of San Marino, enacted in 1600, is the world’s oldest constitution still in effect? If you would like to learn more about this tiny little country be sure to check out “Our Journey to San Marino“. It is also known as “the most Serene Republic of San Marino”.. You will also find more delicious and authentic recipes.
Craving even more? Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing, it’s free. You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook , Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.
Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!
Swallows Nest Pasta (Nidi di Rondine)
A heavenly bite of pasta that when baked resembles a swallows nest, an authentic recipe from San Marino
- 12 lasagna pasta noodles
- ¾ lb Prosciutto di parma sliced thin
- 1 1/3 cup Fontina cheese thin slices
- 12 fresh Basil leaves
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
- Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle on top
For the Bechamel
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated
- salt to taste
For the béchamel
- Whisk the milk and flour in a saucepan, then add the butter and place the pan over moderate high heat.
- Keep whisking until sauce thickens.
- Season with salt, nutmeg and the 2 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
To prepare the pasta noodles
- Cook a few lasagna pieces at a time in salted boiling water.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen towels.
- Turn them over to dry on both sides.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Putting it all together
- Coat the bottom of a large baking dish with 1 cup of marinara sauce.
- Spread a layer of béchamel on the pasta pieces, then sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and place slices of prosciutto, then basil, then fontina cheese on top.
- Roll up each in piece into a cylinder. Place them close together cut side up in baking dish. Continue the process until the dish is full.