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Cannelloni Bianchi

A delicious, sumptuous feast for a special occasion (or a big fat dinner)

Dishes like lasagne and cannelloni tend to be reserved for special occasions in Italy, but if you've the time and the appetite - or a freezer - this would do for any dinner or lunch.


It isn't a traditional recipe, but it's a belter. You can buy dried cannelloni tubes if you'd prefer, but I find getting the mixture into them is akin to surgery, and really too much of a faff. Fresh lasagne sheets (which, ironically I'd never use for lasagne) are ideal for rolling up into tubes.

INGREDIENTS

fennel

carrot

garlic

sage leaves

marsala - sweet sherry would do or even port

minced chicken or turkey - I'm using beef. You could use pork, lamb or whatever you have

Italian sausage - the better the sausage, the better the dish

salami - I had salami di Milano, but any decent cured salami will add a bit of spice

basil leaves

mushrooms

white wine

chicken stock

pepper

ricotta

butter

flour

milk

parmesan or hard pecorino

nutmeg

garlic salt

sheets of fresh lasagne

mozzarella

Watch the video


METHOD

  • Clean, top and tail the fennel and carrot

  • Slice them finely and finely chop the garlic

  • Thickly slice the mushrooms

  • Chop up the sage leaves

  • Slice the sausage and salami

  • Heat up some olive oil in a pan

  • Put in the fennel, carrot and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes

  • Add sage and a pinch of salt

  • Pour in a good splash of Marsala

  • A good stir and cook for 10 - 15 minutes

  • Add the meats, mushrooms and basil and stir it all through thoroughly - this will also deglaze the pan

  • A glass of white wine (in the pan, not in you)

  • Add about 700ml stock, a grind of pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes

  • Add a tub of ricotta and stir it in

  • Cook it all down for about 20 minutes

  • Meanwhile...

  • We're making a white sauce. We've done this before - the only difference being we're using some stock in this too (it doesn't have to be milk)

  • A tablespoon of butter, melt it down and add the same amount of flour

  • Whisk them together and make sure all the flour is incorporated - otherwise it's not pleasant

  • A splash of milk, and whisk it till it becomes a paste - this is a roux

  • Keep adding small amounts of milk and whisking

  • When you've got a nice, smooth, thick sauce - albeit a small amount - start adding stock the same way: small amounts and whisk it through

  • As you add more, you can start adding greater quantities

  • Add nutmeg, garlic salt and pepper

  • Cook slowly for about 20-30 minutes - keeping an eye on it and giving it the occasional stir with a wooden spoon

  • Add a good handful of grated Parmesan or Pecorino, and let the sauce continue to cook - slowly - while you...

  • Lay out sheets of lasagne

  • Spoon the mince & sausage mix from your pan onto a sheet - maybe 2 spoonfuls; if you overdo it you'll have a whale of a time rolling up the pasta

  • Make the cannelloni rolls and lay them along a greased ovenproof dish

  • If you do a second layer, oil the first layer

  • Pour the sauce over the pasta rolls - it shouldn't be a gloopy thick sauce - that would split in the oven. "Silky" is the best description

  • Layer slices of mozzarella over the cannelloni

  • Grate parmesan or Pecorino (or a mix) over the top and dust with nutmeg and pepper

  • In the oven for 30 minutes at 180ºC

#lockdownrecipes #lockdowncooking #italian #pasta #dinnertime #cannelloni

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