Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cannelloni - pasta perfection


I think my all time favourite food is Italian. Italian food is simplicity made perfect. You can take 3 ingredients and make the most satisfying meal. What are the 3 ingredients?

1. Tomato sauce or some sort of savoury sauce
2. Pasta or dough
3. Cheese

That's all you need to make a great meal already but with a few other ingredients you can make something that can satisfy your soul.

Italians rarely cook with actual recipes they usually cook by feel and with love. I grew up on a street with many Italian families and learned that although they were similar they were not the same. The sauces and the choice of pastas seemed to differ and the end results were slightly different even using the same sort of basic ingredients.

Italian food is my go to food when I want something that tastes good and is quick and easy.

This time I decided to make Cannelloni because I never make that and had some ingredients in the fridge that would be great in a Cannelloni.

This is what I did:

Recipe of the Day:

1 Box of Cannelloni noodles
1/2 small log of goat cheese
1 container of Ricotta cheese
1 can of San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 small onion
1 package of spinach leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. of basil pesto
1/3 of a cup of grated mozzarella
3 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Rinse and slightly chop the spinach leaves and set aside
Mince the garlic cloves and dice the onion and set aside.

In a bowl mix the ricotta cheese, goat cheese and a tablespoon of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

In a large frying pan add olive oil to a hot pan and then saute the spinach. Once it is bright green and cooked down take it out of the pan and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add in the can of tomatoes and you can add fresh tomatoes as well. Mash the tomatoes into a sauce like consistency. Add a teaspoon of basil pesto or dried basil flakes or you can add fresh basil at the end. Cook the tomato sauce for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is the way you prefer it. You can add water if you want a thinner sauce. You need to make it thinner than usual because it will cook the pasta in the oven.

Once the sauce is cooked you can assemble the Cannelloni.

In a baking dish add some of the sauce to the bottom of the pan just like the way you would make a lasagna.

Add the chopped spinach to the cheese mixture and you can put the mixture into a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole at the corner of the bag to be able to pipe it out into the cannelloni noodles. Take one of the uncooked cannelloni noodles and pipe the mixture into the inside of the noodle. you can use a small spoon to push it in if you need to. Place the filled cannelloni noodles in the baking pan side by side. Do not layer them on top of each other. Keep filling the cannelloni noodles until you run out of filling.

Add the remaining tomato sauce on top of the noodles and then sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese on top.

Cover with tin foil and place in the preheated oven.

Cook for about 45 minutes or whatever the package of cannelloni noodles require.

And it should look like my photo if you did it all the same way.

It may not look like a perfect picture but the taste of it will feel like love on a plate.

Italian food is food of love... and I do love it...
Enjoy.

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