I’m going through a serious faze of using fresh pasta. And to be honest, both dried and fresh have their place. But when himself brought me home some fresh “lasagne” sheets, I immediately thought of cannelloni. Although it sounds fiddly at first, it’s very impressive to eat and doesn’t take as long as you would imagine.
Jen’s Fast and Tasty Cannelloni
500g good quality minced beef
1 tin of tomatoes
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
250ml Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
½ teaspoon sugar
12 fresh pasta sheets
50g plain flour
300ml of full fat milk
250g grated cheddar
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180oC. Sweat the onion, carrot and garlic in a pan with a little olive oil for approximately 10 minutes on a low heat. You are not looking for any colour, just a gentle sweat. Add the minced beef and season well. Cook this uncovered for 10 minutes until the meat is well browned. Add the tinned tomatoes, 250 ml of stock, puree and sugar. Let this simmer away gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick.
Meanwhile make the cheese sauce; Melt the butter, stir in the flour, and cook this for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk slowly, whisking it into the flour until you have a smooth consistency. Bring to the boil, constantly stirring. Take the pan off the heat and add the grated cheddar cheese. Lay out the fresh pasta sheets on a clean work surface. Spread a spoon of the ricotta over the sheet. Then Spoon some of the beef filling along the long edge of the pasta sheet. Roll it into a cylinder shape and place the cannelloni into the greased ovenproof dish. Repeat the process until all of the pasta sheets have been used.
Scatter over the remaining mince sauce over. Spoon the cheese sauce over the top and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and cooked through.
Scatter pecorino on the cannelloni and serve with a crisp green salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.