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Old 08-19-2019, 01:27 PM   #1
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CANNELLONI - my go to favorite pasta recipe!

THE PASTA:

Some Italian food lovers would choose to make their own fresh pasta for this dish, or cut & roll up fresh pasta sheets - the ones generally used for making lasagna, but I almost always take the simple route of using a box of store-bought, so-called 'oven-ready', cannelloni tubes.

These are 'hard' out of the box and can easily break up/splinter if not carefully handled, so one should parboil them first for approx. 2 minutes max - so that they soften up a bit, but are still firm enough to retain their shape and are easily stuffed with the filling, and will be of the right consistency upon baking.

A box of these cannelloni tubes contains at or near 2 dozen pieces, which is roughly the number this recipe will make.

After stuffing, any tubes unused that day can be frozen for later use when their taste will be every bit as good as the fresh ones.

All one needs to do is to fresh make a bechamel sauce each time you use any from the frozen batch.


THE FILLING - Ingredients you'll need:

To be sauteed:

- Approx. 1/2 lb. each of spicy (or mild) italian sausage meat, and ground beef (or pork if you prefer).

- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion or shallot.

- 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped.

- 1 Tbspn. tomato paste.

- 1/2 cup white wine (optional).

- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds/ribs removed & finely chopped.

- 1 tspn. dry oregano.

- 1/2 tspn. powdered nutmeg.

- Large pinch of sugar

- Some olive oil.


In a large saucepan over medium heat, add a tbspn of olive oil & saute the diced onions (or shallots) for 1-2 minutes, add the diced garlic & fry for another minute, then gradually add the meats and saute until cooked through, while occasionally breaking up the meat with a potato masher to ensure uniform small ground consistency.

Then add the white wine, if using, along with the tomato paste, the diced jalapeno pepper, the oregano, the nutmeg, and the sugar - mix all ingredients well while saute-ing for a further 5 minutes or so.
Remove from heat, drain through a sieve to remove excess fat/liquids, and allow to cool.



To be added cold in a large bowl along with the above mixture after it has been cooked, drained and cooled:

- 1 -500 gram tub of ricotta cheese, preferably creamy full fat.

- 1/2 cup of coarsely grated provolone ( or substitute gruyere, swiss, cheddar, - whatever cheese you have on hand or prefer).

- 1/3 - 1/2 cup finely grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan).

- 2 Tbspns. Cream Cheese.

- 1/3 - 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped or torn apart.

- 1/2 small tin or jar of marinated & quartered artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped.

- 1 egg, for binding


Mix all ingredients well together to form the completed filling for the cannelloni tubes.
If the mixture seems too heavily 'dryish', mix in a little milk or cream to soften/moisten & better facilitate filling the tubes.

Use a piping bag for filling each tube, or a ziplock bag with a hole cut into the bottom corner for piping, or just use your fingers like I do - works just as fast and well.


The simple Bechamel Sauce:

Ingredients:

In a small to medium-sized saucepan over medium heat:

- Melt 1 Tbspn. butter.

- Add 2 tspns. flour & whisk together well till bubbling.

- Add 1/4 tspn. each of white pepper and ground nutmeg.

- Begin gradually adding 2/3 to 1 cup, or more, of milk, whisking well as the sauce thickens somewhat - approx. 2-3 minutes or so.

- Gradually add approx. 2/3 cup coarsely grated provolone or other good melting cheese of your choice, along with approx. 1/2 cup finely grated romano, or parmesan cheese, and whisk in until melted and well blended.

The finished white sauce needs to be quite watery, in order to remain of this consistency, more or less, as a finished baked product, with no curdling.

The sauce consistency should be no thicker consistency than say, heavy cream, or even slightly less so.

If it is not, add milk & whisk till that consistency is achieved. This is important. Allow to cool.

Baking:

Line up rows of filled cannelloni tubes, closely side by side, as many as you wish to bake in an oven-proof corning ware casserole dish of the size needed for the number of cannelloni you're baking.

Completely cover the cannelloni with the bechamel sauce, adding more milk or cream if need be, and sprinkle another 1/2 cup of grated romano cheese over top of the sauce.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes or so, & then finish by turning on the broiler for 2 minutes or so to nicely brown the topping of romano cheese.

ENJOY !

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Old 08-19-2019, 05:18 PM   #2
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The recipe's description looks yummy! Will have to try it out. Thanks for sharing it!
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqcoder View Post
The recipe's description looks yummy! Will have to try it out. Thanks for sharing it!
Thanks. I'm fairly certain you won't regret trying it - it is truly yummy !

At least that's what my guests say - as I mentioned in my introduction to this forum - a couple of my dinner guests have actually said it's 'to die for'.

I usually make a big batch, freeze a bunch of them, and I can't help but be tempted to bake some about twice a month.

Keep in mind though, that it's important for the béchamel sauce to be somewhat runny - you don't want a too thick, 'globby' finished product after baking.

Variations:
- I've made this recipe using a light red vodka tomato sauce (or made with white wine);
- or a combination of: mainly the white sauce, with a bit of red sauce covering the bottom of the dish, and streaks of red sauce drizzled through the white sauce on top. Looks very appealing when finished.
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:18 PM   #4
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I'm serving cannelloni to dinner guests tonight - the combination of the red and white sauces described in the last paragraph above.


I'll definitely post photos within the next couple of days of the dish before and after baking so you can get the visual on it.
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Old 08-31-2019, 09:47 PM   #5
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I bought the ingredients for this. Planning to make it Monday.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:31 PM   #6
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Looking forward to your critique of the dish.
Here's hoping it turns out the way you expect it to.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:48 PM   #7
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My guests tonite not only said they loved this cannelloni dish, but asked for the recipe, and were pleasantly surprised to be asked if they wished to take the leftovers home, which they happily did .
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:45 AM   #8
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I served cannelloni to my 2 guests last night - casserole contained 14 cannelloni tubes - I usually allow 3 tubes per person.
Before and after cooking:
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:25 AM   #9
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Looks great!

I learned something the other day while in the supermarket looking for cannelloni tubes. Manicotti are tubes with cheese and sauce while cannelloni have meat/veggies in addition to the cheese and sauce.

The tubes I found in the market were called manicotti tubes.
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:25 PM   #10
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Manicotti tubes are just fine for this recipe, but they're a bit thicker pasta than cannelloni tubes, so just parboil them a bit longer - 1/2 minute more or so, and add 5 minutes or so to the baking time - from 25 or so minutes, to 30 or more minutes.
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CANNELLONI - my go to favorite pasta recipe! THE PASTA: Some Italian food lovers would choose to make their own fresh pasta for this dish, or cut & roll up fresh pasta sheets - the ones generally used for making lasagna, but I almost always take the simple route of using a box of store-bought, so-called 'oven-ready', cannelloni tubes. These are 'hard' out of the box and can easily break up/splinter if not carefully handled, so one should parboil them first for approx. 2 minutes max - so that they soften up a bit, but are still firm enough to retain their shape and are easily stuffed with the filling, and will be of the right consistency upon baking. A box of these cannelloni tubes contains at or near 2 dozen pieces, which is roughly the number this recipe will make. After stuffing, any tubes unused that day can be frozen for later use when their taste will be every bit as good as the fresh ones. All one needs to do is to fresh make a bechamel sauce each time you use any from the frozen batch. THE FILLING - Ingredients you'll need: To be sauteed: - Approx. 1/2 lb. each of spicy (or mild) italian sausage meat, and ground beef (or pork if you prefer). - 1/2 cup finely chopped onion or shallot. - 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped. - 1 Tbspn. tomato paste. - 1/2 cup white wine (optional). - 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds/ribs removed & finely chopped. - 1 tspn. dry oregano. - 1/2 tspn. powdered nutmeg. - Large pinch of sugar - Some olive oil. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add a tbspn of olive oil & saute the diced onions (or shallots) for 1-2 minutes, add the diced garlic & fry for another minute, then gradually add the meats and saute until cooked through, while occasionally breaking up the meat with a potato masher to ensure uniform small ground consistency. Then add the white wine, if using, along with the tomato paste, the diced jalapeno pepper, the oregano, the nutmeg, and the sugar - mix all ingredients well while saute-ing for a further 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat, drain through a sieve to remove excess fat/liquids, and allow to cool. To be added cold in a large bowl along with the above mixture after it has been cooked, drained and cooled: - 1 -500 gram tub of ricotta cheese, preferably creamy full fat. - 1/2 cup of coarsely grated provolone ( or substitute gruyere, swiss, cheddar, - whatever cheese you have on hand or prefer). - 1/3 - 1/2 cup finely grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan). - 2 Tbspns. Cream Cheese. - 1/3 - 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped or torn apart. - 1/2 small tin or jar of marinated & quartered artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped. - 1 egg, for binding Mix all ingredients well together to form the completed filling for the cannelloni tubes. If the mixture seems too heavily 'dryish', mix in a little milk or cream to soften/moisten & better facilitate filling the tubes. Use a piping bag for filling each tube, or a ziplock bag with a hole cut into the bottom corner for piping, or just use your fingers like I do - works just as fast and well. The simple Bechamel Sauce: Ingredients: In a small to medium-sized saucepan over medium heat: - Melt 1 Tbspn. butter. - Add 2 tspns. flour & whisk together well till bubbling. - Add 1/4 tspn. each of white pepper and ground nutmeg. - Begin gradually adding 2/3 to 1 cup, or more, of milk, whisking well as the sauce thickens somewhat - approx. 2-3 minutes or so. - Gradually add approx. 2/3 cup coarsely grated provolone or other good melting cheese of your choice, along with approx. 1/2 cup finely grated romano, or parmesan cheese, and whisk in until melted and well blended. The finished white sauce needs to be quite watery, in order to remain of this consistency, more or less, as a finished baked product, with no curdling. The sauce consistency should be no thicker consistency than say, heavy cream, or even slightly less so. If it is not, add milk & whisk till that consistency is achieved. This is important. Allow to cool. Baking: Line up rows of filled cannelloni tubes, closely side by side, as many as you wish to bake in an oven-proof corning ware casserole dish of the size needed for the number of cannelloni you're baking. Completely cover the cannelloni with the bechamel sauce, adding more milk or cream if need be, and sprinkle another 1/2 cup of grated romano cheese over top of the sauce. Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes or so, & then finish by turning on the broiler for 2 minutes or so to nicely brown the topping of romano cheese. ENJOY ! 3 stars 1 reviews
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