Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Italian Week: Day 4 - Cannelloni

Buona sera my fellow bloggers! Tonight, I am prepared to introduce you all to one of my all time favorite Italian dishes. Of course, as you have all started to realize, Italian food is mostly pasta dishes. It's a signature style of the Italians. I choose to live by this because I am part Italian. So tonight, we are making a traditional cannelloni.
Cannelloni is a flat sheet of pasta, rolled into a cylindrical shape to encompass a filling of choice. Cannelloni is often mistaken for manicotti. However, manicotti is a filled Italian dinner crepe, as opposed to rolled pasta. Okay, so we have educated you, now we will cook with you. Ready? I am!


You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon shredded fresh basil
  • 12 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces dried cannelloni tubes
  • butter, for greasing
  • Generous 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces cooked ham, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated romano cheese
Are we all here? Okay... And, we're off.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottom skillet
  3. Add the onions and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened.
  4. Add the basil, chopped tomatoes and their can juices, and tomato paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a large heavy-bottom pan of lightly salted water to a boil.
  7. Add the cannelloni tubes, return to a boil and cook Al-Dente (8 to 10 minutes).
  8. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the cannelloni tubes to a large plate and pat dry with paper towels.
  9. Grease a large, shallow casserole dish with butter.
  10. Mix the ricotta, ham, and egg together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Using a teaspoon, fill the cannelloni tubes with the ricotta mixture and place in a single layer in the dish.
  12. Pour the tomato sauce over the cannelloni and sprinkle with with romano cheese,
  13. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Serve!

Well, this dish has me wiping my forehead. I have to say, this is one of the more extensive dishes. So, if you choose to pass on making this, I won't be offended. But, I will recommend trying at least once. It's more fun if you have someone to make this with like a child or a sister or even a best friend. You all have a great night and I'll talk to you tomorrow!