Cannelloni: A step by step guide

My sister and I have always wanted to cook ‘cannelloni’ but with some ingredients made from scratch, like the tomato sauce and the ‘besciamella’ sauce. Its easier to just use store-bought tomato and bechamel sauce but we wanted to ‘control’ the flavor so to speak. Also, my sister has a technique for achieving such a smooth and creamy white sauce that she has not taught me (yet).

For the meat part, I do not season it right from the start plus I use my combination of salt, pepper, turmeric & three more spices to bring out a distinct flavor. But for purposes simple cooking, season with salt & pepper plus nutmeg (optional) and in lieu of spinach and ricotta cheese we used basil and cheddar cheese.

I have broken down the recipe by ingredients & procedures for meat, tomato sauce, white sauce, how to assemble, how to bake and how to serve. Hope  you enjoy what we’ve shared.

Cannelloni | basic ingredients | All right reserved

Ingredients for the preparing the meat:
1 kg ground pork or lean meat
garlic, minced
onions, minced
olive oil or regular cooking oil

400 grams cannelloni tubes

Cannelloni | boiled tomatoes for the sauce | All right reserved

More after the jump

Ingredients for preparing the tomato sauce:
boiling water
whole ripe tomatoes
vinegar or lemon juice
salt & pepper
garlic minced
basil, roughly chopped

Cannelloni | stuffed cannelloni tubes | All right reserved

Ingredients for preparing the ‘besciamella’ sauce:
25 grams butter
25 grams flour
300ml of cold milk
salt & pepper
nutmeg (optional)
cheddar cheese, grated

Cannelloni | cannelloni ready for the oven | All right reserved

Preparing/Cooking the Meat:
– In a non-stick pan dry-fry the pork or beef; wait until oil and juices come out and cook until meat is browned
– In the same pan, add a bit of oil on the side and saute the onions and garlic; once aromatic, mix well with the meat; set aside

Preparing/Cooking the Tomato Sauce:
– In a sauce pan boil some water with a bit of salt and vinegar or lemon juice; once on a rolling boil, add in the tomatoes and let cook until skin starts to peel; remove from heat, let it cool a bit and mash; set aside
– Heat oil in a sauce pan and saute some garlic and rough-chopped basil for 1 minute; add in the mashed tomatoes and season with some salt & pepper; let cook for a bout 3-4 minutes; mix in some fresh rough-chopped basil and set aside

Preparing/Cooking the Besciamella Sauce:
– In a sauce pan, melt butter and add in the flour; incorporate well and cook until its consistency is thick but dough-y
– Add in the cold milk (a third part at a time), use a whisk and stir continuously until there are no more lumps;
– Season with salt & pepper and some nutmeg
– Add in grated cheddar cheese and mix well until cheese is melted and well incorporated

To Assemble:
– Grease pan with a bit of butter and some tomato sauce
– Fill and line a layer of cannelloni tubes with the meat mixture
– Spread bechamel sauce over it; place another line of stuffed tubes on top
– Spread tomato sauce on top of the final layer
– Top with grated cheese and bake at a pre-heated oven 200C/180C or fan/gas mark 6 for 40 to 45 minutes

To Serve: Let sit for 10 minutes before serving

Cannelloni | cannelloni straight from the oven | All right reserved

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