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Ricotta-Stuffed Cannelloni: Date Added: 13 Nov 2009
Listed in: Pasta


2 cups semolina
pinch salt
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks (reserve whites)

Spinach Ricotta Filling

8 ounces spinach
1 tbsp butter
2 cups fresh ricotta
1 egg
pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper

Bechamel Sauce

2 Tbsps butter
2 Tbsps flour
1 1/4 cup milk
bay leaf
freshly ground pepper

Tomato Sauce

3 Tbsps olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 x 710 ml jar good quality Italian brand strained tomatoes
3 Tbsps torn basil leaves, about 3-4 leaves, optional
salt to taste
pepper to taste
3 egg whites (from pasta dough recipe)
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup grated mozzarella
extra ricotta (reserved from tub)

Cooking Instructions


Place semolina, salt and olive oil in food processor and pulse. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, pulsing in between each addition. Continue to process until ingredients are well combined and dough clears the sides of container.

Pulse a minute or two to knead the dough. Remove dough from processor, roll into a ball, cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour. When dough is rested, cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll out 4 pieces on pasta machine, according to machine instructions, to thinnest setting. (Remaining dough can be well wrapped and frozen.

To use, defrost in fridge overnight and roll out as above.) Cut dough into 4 x 4 in squares; cover with cloth to prevent drying out.Spinach Ricotta FillingWash and drain spinach, letting some water cling to spinach leaves. In medium pan, melt butter over medium high heat.

Add spinach and cook until leaves are wilted and soft. Season with nutmeg to taste. Drain cooked spinach in a colander, pressing down firmly to remove excess liquid. Finely chop drained spinach and gently combine with egg and ricotta. Season mixture with salt and pepper.

Bechamel Sauce

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit but does not colour, about 2 minutes. Stream milk in, whisking as sauce thickens.

Bring to a low simmer. Add bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and cover with clingfilm.

Tomato Sauce

Heat olive oil and garlic in a pot over medium heat. Gently fry garlic for a minute; add strained tomatoes. Simmer gently about 10 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and stir in torn basil leaves, if using. Preheat oven to 375. To assemble, lay pasta squares on a lightly floured surface. Using a piping bag or a small spoon, pipe or spoon about 2 tbsp of spinach filling evenly along bottom edge of each square.

Brush reserved egg white (from pasta dough recipe) along top edge of square. Gently roll bottom edge up and around to form a tube shape. Spread ¼ cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a medium, oven safe dish. Arrange filled cannelloni on top and pour béchamel sauce over. Spoon remaining tomato sauce just to cover.

Sprinkle parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses on top and bake until tomato sauce is bubbling and hot around edges, about 15-20 minutes.

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