Cannelloni with bechamel sauce
FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE
2 oz butter
2 oz plain flour
18 fl oz whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Salt and pepper
FOR THE FRESH PASTA DOUGH
1 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
FOR THE CANNELLONI FILLING
1.5 cup lean ground beef
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
0.5 cup cooked ham or prosciutto, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp tomato paste, softened in 1 tbsp warm water
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
0.5 cup freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
3 tbsp butter
Prep. Time → 60 min
Cook Time → 20 min
1. Prepare the Bechamel Sauce:
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
2. Whisk in the flour.
3. Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.
4. Season with salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes. Bechamel sauce should not taste like flour.
5. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
6. Salt to taste and season with pepper and/or nutmeg.
If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk. If too runny, return to the heat and add 2 slices of butter mixed with an equal quantity of plain flour.
Note: For a richer bechamel sauce, replace half the milk with the same amount of cream; for a lighter béchamel sauce, add half milk and half water.
2. Prepare the fresh pasta dough:
1. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mound on a work surface.
2. Make a well in the center and add the eggs.
3. Using your fingers, gradually mix the flour, then knead for about 10 minutes (If the mixture is too firm, add a little water; if it is a bit soft, add a little extra flour.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.
5. Roll out on a lightly floured surface or use a pasta machine to make a thin sheet, and cut into large rectangles 6" x 3".
3. Prepare the Cannelloni:
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Butter a pan large enough to accommodate all the cannelloni in one layer. Spoon 2-3 tbs of the bechamel sauce into the bottom of the baking dish
3. Heat olive oil and saute onion until translucent. Stir in beef until cooked, about 3-4 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and drain grease.
5. Mix in ham (or prosciutto) and parsley. Add tomato paste and egg and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Cook the pasta rectangles, a few at a time, in a large pan of salted, boiling water for about 1 minute.
7. Drain on a damp towel.
8. Spread a thin layer of filling on each pasta rectangle. Spoon in a little bechamel sauce on each rectangle
and roll up from one long side.
9. Arrange the cannelloni in a single layer in the prepared dish.
10. Pour the remaining bechamel sauce over them and sprinkle the top with grated cheese. Dot with butter.
11. Bake for 20 minutes, then leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Author Charleen Lee
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