Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spinach and Cheese Cannelloni (at this rate I should just make this a food blog!)

I have been sick this week and, I admit, have not so much as lifted a paintbrush. I have gone to the farm to muck in the mornings and then basically spent the afternoons/evenings on my couch, most of the time finally reading the book The Help. I am getting better though and will be back at it next week (my Mom flies in from New Brunswick Saturday for a conference next week and I will be spending most of the weekend at my sister's place with her).

I wanted to share another recipe with everyone.
I made this one Monday night and Ryan loved it.

And yes, I do have a thing for pasta.






For sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/3 cup)

For cannelloni
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 oz baby spinach
1 3/4 cups ricotta
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto (optional), chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano ( 1/2 cup)
8 (6- by 4-inch) fresh pasta rectangles or 8 oven-ready lasagne noodles


Make sauce:
  1. Melt butter in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat.
  2. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, 2 minutes.
  3. Add milk in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly (sauce will thicken).
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 2 minutes, then whisk in salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  5.  Remove from heat and whisk in cheese, then cover pan.           
Make cannelloni:
  1. Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add spinach and sauté, stirring, until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.           
  3. Stir together ricotta, egg, parsley, prosciutto (if using), salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup cheese in a bowl, then stir in spinach mixture.           
  4. Boil pasta 2 pieces at a time in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, stirring to separate, until just tender (about 2 minutes for fresh pasta or about 6 minutes for oven-ready noodles)Gently transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of cold water to stop cooking, then remove from bowl, shaking off water, and lay flat on kitchen towels (not terry cloth). Pat dry with paper towels. Trim oven-ready noodles (if using) as closely as possible to 6 1/4- by 5 1/2-inch rectangles.           
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F.           
  6. Spread 2/3 cup sauce in buttered baking dish.
  7. Spread about 1/3 cup ricotta filling in a line along 1 short side of 1 pasta rectangle, then roll up to enclose filling. Transfer, seam side down, to baking dish. Make 7 more cannelloni in same manner, arranging snugly in 1 layer.
  8. Spread 1/2 cup more sauce over cannelloni and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake, covered with foil, in middle of oven until sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes.           
  10. Turn on broiler.
  11. Remove foil and broil cannelloni about 5 inches from heat until lightly browned (2 to 4 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  12. Reheat remaining sauce and serve on the side.



I actually had fresh parsley this time!





 

I didn't notice until after I made this that the recipe says not to use a glass pan.
Wonder why, it worked fine for me :)

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