Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Daring Cooks Make Cannelloni!!
Do you ever get into automatic mode when doing certain tasks and just shut your brain off? That happened to me the other day. See, for my camera, you have to delete each photo one by one. You can't just plug in the SD card and do it on the computer. No, that would be too easy. Instead you have to sit there for 5 minutes clicking through each photo and hit delete. It's not a fun task, and one that I tend to put off. Until there are like 500 photos on there and instead of taking me 5 minutes it takes me a whole freaking hour to clean out my card (Yeah, I know you are laughing at me, Mom, and you had better not even mention this. You've got nothing on me!) I finally decided to tackle this the other day, and was deleting photos while talking with some friends, when all of a sudden I looked down and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I deleted my cannelloni pictures!!! All but three...at least I had these three, and they aren't terrible, but still. Lesson learned. I'll try to clean my SD card more regularly now, and definitely make sure I have uploaded all new photos before deleting any! Have you ever done something like this before?
Manu from Manu’s Menu was our Daring Cooks lovely June hostess and has challenged us to make traditional Italian cannelloni from scratch! We were taught how to make the pasta, filling, and sauces shared with us from her own and her family’s treasured recipes!
This month's challenge was definitely a challenge, but only in the "working out" category! I am definitely thinking about getting a pasta roller now, especially after spending 2 hours rolling pasta (I made a big batch!) Two days later my arms and back were still aching. But it was totally worth every single bite of this heavenly cheesy pasta dish! It doesn't look like much at first (especially because I didn't broil mine. The broiler is under the oven, and was definitely NOT cleaned out by the previous tennant. Its kind of nasty down there, and I wasn't about to put anything in there until I thoroughly scour it!). But every single bite is drool worthy and lick the plate clean good! It takes a good amount of time to make, but you can prepare it ahead of time and then put it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. And it is soo worth it!
200 grams flour
Put the flour and eggs in the food processor and mix until the dough looks like crumbs.
Dump it out onto the counter and knead by hand until you get a smooth dough.
Make a ball with the dough, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rest 10-15 minutes.
I highly suggest using a pasta roller to roll out your pasta here, but if like me you don't own one, then roll up your sleeves, get your rolling pin out, and get to work!
Divide the ball of dough into roughly 14 equal pieces.
Roll each pieces as thin as you can possibly get it, so that when you trim your uneven edges you will have a piece roughly 4"x6" big.
As each piece is cut, stack it on top of the previous piece, with a piece of plastic wrap in between.
4 cups milk
7 TBSP butter
2/3 cup flour
2 pinches of salt
2 pinches of nutmeg
In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter.
Add the flour and whisk constantly until the flour is incorporated and a paste has formed. Guess what, you just made a "roux"! Fancy you!
Keep whisking and let it cook for 1 minute.
Slowly start adding the milk a little bit at a time, whisking each small addition in completely before adding more. Do this step slowly and thoroughly in order to avoid lumps.
When all of the milk has been incorporated add the nutmeg and salt and let this cook about 10 minutes (whisking it not quite occasionally but not quite constantly, either).
Turn the heat off and cover to prevent a film from forming on top.
Cannelloni De Magro
egg pasta (recipe above)
bechamel sauce (recipe above)
4 bunches (2 lbs) raw spinach
28 ounces ricotta
4 cups (8 ounces) parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper
2 pinches nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Wash the spinach, shake dry, and chop into small pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the chopped spinach, ricotta, 3 cups of the parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs.
Put a large pot of water on to boil.
When boiling, cook the pasta sheets, one at a time, for 1 minute.
Remove with a slotted spoon, and allow to drain on a towel for a minute, or until you can handle them.
Take a large pan (like a lasagna or a 9x13), spray it with cooking spray and pour some of the béchamel sauce into the bottom - spreading it evenly.
Take one sheet of pasta and put a dollop of the filling down the middle lengthwise.
Roll the pasta into a tube and place in the pan.
Repeat with the remaining noodles, placing the filled cannelloni in a single layer on top of the béchamel layer.
Pour the remaining béchamel sauce over the filled cannelloni and sprinkle it with the remaining 1 cup of parmesan cheese.
Bake the cannelloni for 20 minutes, then broil them at 400 F for another 5 minutes.