Antipasto Rollups

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Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes, giving us different tastes and textures. When natural flavors and colors are added, they become a feast for the eyes as well. I came across this bag of pasta some months back and could not resist bringing it home with me. They look so bright and colorful, almost too pretty to eat.

Each strip of pasta is naturally colored with red bell pepper, tomato, spinach, beet, and turmeric. Although it looks like a ribbon, it has a most unusual name. Maybe something was lost in translation as it is called Mother-In-Law’s Tongue Pasta. In contrast to its unfortunate name, this pasta can be made into delectable appetizers that are both pleasing to the eyes and palate.

This Torino brand of Mother-In-Law’s Tongue pasta is currently unavailable but the Marella Italian Mother-In-Law Tongues can be found here.

Here is a close-up of the pasta. Aren’t they pretty?

Each strip of dry pasta is about ¾-inch wide. After cooking, it is a little wider and perfect for rolling. To keep it light, I used sour cream as the binder. The addition of mint leaves gives it a fresh taste.

Antipasto Rollups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Antipasto Rollups


  • 8 strips Mother in Law’s Tongue pasta
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp dried lemon pepper spice blend
  • ½ cup baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup baby kale leaves
  • 2 sprigs mint leaves, stem removed


Bring a pot of water to boil. Add some salt. Cook pasta as for 11 to 12 minutes. Drain.

Lay pasta out onto a board. Spread a thin layer of sour cream onto each strip of pasta. Sprinkle lemon pepper spice blend pasta.

Place a spinach leave followed by kale leaf, and mint along each strip of pasta alternating the leaves until pasta is covered.

Spread another thin layer of sour cream onto salad and mint leaves.

Carefully roll up each strip of pasta.

Place on a plate covered with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

For other unusual pastas, please check out the following posts by clicking on the pictures.

Two weeks ago, I mentioned in this post that Ro-Ri San and I visited the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Here are some of the pictures I took during that visit.

The Institute is housed at the Turnblad Mansion with its castle-like appearance.

This beautiful mansion has 33 rooms, a two-story grand entrance hall with exquisitely carved woodwork, decorative plaster sculpted ceilings, a grand ballroom, and 11 Swedish porcelain tiled stoves called kakelugnar throughout the mansion. Here are two of them.

This is the Visby Window located on the landing between the first and second floors. This window is a copy of a painting depicting a real event in the city of Visby on the island of Gotland, south of Stockholm.

Wit in Wood: Nordic Figure Carving is housed on the second floor. This exhibit will run through May 27, 2012.

This Dalapalooza is a decade old started by Harley Refsal who carves horses and distributes them to artists and friends from a round the world to decorate in themes and styles of their own choosing. Here are a few interesting ones that I have singled out.

This is Pippi Longstocking, the beloved fictional character in a series of children’s books by Astrid Lindgren. Pippi brought back memories of my visit to Gothenburg and Stockholm more than a decade ago.

The younger Biren in Gothenburg. :)

Trosa is a charming summer seaside town by the Baltic. There are homes here in Minnesota that strongly resemble the ones found in Trosa right down to the color.

One of the many souvenirs we brought home with us.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)

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36 Responses

  1. Nasifriet says:

    What a pretty rainbow of colours. Absolutely too pretty to eat :-D. Er… MIL’s tongue?? I’m trying to figure that out :-) If this pasta was not Italian, but Chinese, I think the Chinese would call this pasta “dragon’s tongue” LOL! MIL or not, it looks gorgeous, Biren! Another clever finger food idea! ;-)

    • Biren says:

      Dragon’s tongue? That’s a thought! They are pretty and I need to get myself another pack soon as the family really enjoyed these rollups. As expected, it did lose some color after cooking but they are still discernible and attractive.

  2. I love the idea of these pasta roll-ups – that pasta really is eye-catching (and what a funny name!). Thanks for sharing your visit to the Swedish Institute, how cool! Love those stoves.

    • Biren says:

      These are just so fun to make and quite delicious. The guys have requested for more. :)

      Yes, those stoves are very pretty. They are all different and very well maintained.

  3. :D – hee hee just look at you!!! You look so innocent and YOUNG!! How old were you, twenty??! If I dig out my younger photos, I might cry lol Anyway, your pasta dish is GORGEOUS! Can’t imagine why something so pretty would be called something so redoubtable :P The horse carvings are killing me, soooooo funny! And my goodness, will you look at those porcelain tile stoves – stunning!!

    • Biren says:

      Aww…thanks Denise! You are teasing me. Twenty? You are too kind. :) It is fun to look back at old pictures and I often wonder what I was thinking then especially when I see the kind of clothes I was wearing….hehe!

      That pasta is quite a find. I kept it for a while unsure of what to do with it. It is too pretty to use it like regular pasta in a heap mixed with other ingredients. Staring at it one day, it suddenly occurred to me that I could roll it up like pinwheels or sushi. These make wonderful appetizers.

      Yes, those dalas are such a hoot! I thought that Dalai Lama was so clever and you should see Dala Parton. :D

  4. Lea Ann says:

    I would have grabbed that bag of pasta also. What a pretty combination and pattern. Love what you did with it. Almost too pretty to eat. I’d love to find something like this and serve it at my next appetizer party. Thanks Biren.

    • Biren says:

      You can buy the pasta on-line with the link I provided. This will certainly be lovely at your appetizer party.

  5. Juliana says:

    So interesting this pasta…I never seen anything like this :)
    Love the way you prepared them…nice pictures of the American Swedish Institute.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Biren!

  6. says:

    Amazing never seen pasta look so pretty.

  7. Wow… now that is some cool pasta!! I have never seen anything like it before!! I love the roll-ups!!

  8. mjskit says:

    That’s the coolest pasta I’ve ever seen! And look what you did with it. How creative! They look beautiful and I bet they taste wonderful! Thanks for sharing the picture of the American Swedish Institute. Looks like a very interesting place.

  9. Awww I love your picture! You look different with short hair style – very modern and beautiful! I love your pasta rollups. SUPER pretty. I’ve never seen pasta like that before. Very nice for parties. Looks pretty to look at!

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Nami! That picture was taken a long time ago. Looks a little chubby in the face…hehe! The pasta is really pretty and didn’t want to eat it for a while. :)

  10. Ruby says:

    Gorgeous pasta (and LOL what a hideous name!!!) and great photo essay too! And what a treat to see a beautiful picture of the ‘younger’ you – you actually haven’t changed much you know, just your hair is longer!

    • Biren says:

      I could not believe the name when I saw it on the packaging as it is such a pretty pasta. Had it sitting in my pantry for a while until I figured out what to do with it.

      Aww…thanks Ruby! I have not had short hair like that since. These days I normally wear my long hair in a pony tail.

  11. PolaM says:

    How beautiful! This is a great idea for a stylish appetizer!

  12. That looks amazing, Biren!

  13. Biren, you are so creative! This looks very appetizing! Have a blessed weekend.

  14. LiteHomeBake says:

    This is so pretty, a very creative idea. Love the colors!

  15. Raymund says:

    Nice pasta, I never came accross with those. Love the colours

  16. Jeannie says:

    Funny name to call a pasta, but really pretty indeed! Gorgeous photos!

  17. tigerfish says:

    They really look too pretty to be eaten! And look like some fruit leather sweets :P Thanks for sharing your photos too.

  18. kitchenriffs says:

    Those are gorgeous! What a wonderful idea. And I’ve never heard of Mother In Law’s Tongue pasta. Very interesting name – but the pasta is great looking. Really nice post – thanks.

  19. Those are some gorgeous roll ups.. so pretty! a great fun appetizer for sure!

    Do drop by fundraiser on my blog, if you have a minute, to bid, or share. I am trying to raise funds through auction of items donated by fellow bloggers for an amazing organization! Thanks a bunch!

  20. Sarah says:

    The pasta and the recipe look amazing! Just a thought on the name… There is a plant, Sansevieria trifasciata, that is also called mother-in-law tongue. It has long, blade-like leaves that are variegated, and supposedly got its odd nickname because the leaves are very sharp! The stripes in the pasta do look a lot like the variegated leaves of this plant.

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Sarah for visiting and commenting. Yes, yes, now that you mention it, I do know of a similar plant in Malaysia where the leaves are also variegated and stiff. People used to put egg shells over the sharp tip. It looks kinda cute! I can’t remember the exact name but it does have the word “lidah” (in Malay) which means tongue. Really interesting! Thanks for reminding me of the plant. :D

  21. kristy says:

    Oh Biren, thanks so much for sharing all the wonderful photos. She look so sweet. How I wish I can have some of those pasta. They look so beautiful. Hope you’re having a fabulous day.

  22. Anthony Messina says:

    Thanks for sharing! Lovely!

    Found this description on another website: “Known as “mother-in-law’s tongues” because they are long, colorful and sharp around the edges. Similar to the plant’s leaves of the same name a.k.a. a snake plant.

    • Biren says:

      You are most welcomed! Thanks for visiting and commenting. Yes, I did read about that. Wow…that is some tongue! :)

  23. Ginny says:

    Hi Biren
    What an amazing appetizer. This sets me out on a wild goose hunt for those tongues in Singapore…..yet to find them though. Anyway one question, does chilling them hardens the pasta…..I know you cling wrapped them. Thanks.

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Ginny! You may have to order the pasta on-line. I do have the link in my post but it may be a little costly for them to ship it to Singapore. I hope you do find it there. As to your question, I will say that chilling it for 30 minutes to an hour does not change its texture. In fact, I kept some for my hubby who ate it later that evening and it was still fine.

  24. The pasta looks so pretty I must buy some and try your recipe.

  1. May 25, 2012

    […] For another fun appetizer using Mother-in-Law’s Tongue Pasta, check out my Antipasto Rollups. […]

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