Italian Baked Cannelloni

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James and I had a date night on Friday and I wanted to make something special that would be the event of the night. This recipe is definitely an "event" and took us around 3 hours to make! It was a lot of fun and we were in the mood to just sip on some wine and putt away in the kitchen. It turned out SUPER yummy and was very rich and comforting. It was definitely a true Italian recipe with Bechamel sauce and lots of butter.. Yummmm...I found this recipe on allrecipes.com .. What an awesome site!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 12 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  •  
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  •  
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 cannelloni pasta shells **OVEN READY SHELLS! These are much easier to stuff if they are not floppy and already cooked. (If your using the smaller cannelloni shells like I did it will take more than 12 shells to use up the filling. We then layered them in the baking dish)

Directions

1. To make the Cannelloni Filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil and saute ground beef with the onion, sage and rosemary; cook until meat is evenly browned and crumbly. Add salt and 1/2 cup white wine; cook until wine is evaporated:

Olive oil, ground beef and sliced onions
Once cooked down and white wine has evaporated
2. To make the Bechamel sauce: Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until well incorporated. Stir in milk and bring to a slow boil until mixture thickens. Stir into the meat mixture and mix well. Stir in the mozzarella and egg yolks; set aside.
Bechamel sauce!
Look at all that mozzarella cheesy goodness! This is after adding the cubed mozza and bechamel sauce to the ground beef
Instead of spooning each cannelloni full James was brilliant and filled a Ziploc bag with the filling and piped each noodle.
 
3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and saute onion until soft and translucent. Add 1/2 cup white wine and let it cook down to evaporate; add tomato and salt. Mix well; simmer for 15 minutes. 
    4.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  
    5. Spoon a line of filling into each shell, starting from one end and using your finger to push the filling inside   of each shell. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, place cannelloni and cover with tomato mixture.  
    6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until heated through; when finished baking, allow to stand for    5 minutes and serve. 

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