Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cannelloni - Traditional Northern Dish

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Cannelloni - Traditional Veal and Lean Beef
60 gm butter
150 gm ground veal, lean
150 gm ground beef, highest quality, lean
1 onion
150 gm Parmigiano Reggiano grated
Béchamel, or white sauce – 1 liter
(makes about 10-12)
Melt the butter and add a drop of extra v. olive oil. Sauté onion for 5 minutes then add the meat and continue cooking. When  the onion is cooked, take off the heat. Add half of the white sauce (see recipe below) that you made before cooking the meat, fresh ground pepper and the grated cheese. Set aside while preparing the lasagna strips.  

Bèchamel or white sauce: makes one liter
100 gm flour
100 gm butter
1 liter whole milk or low fat do not use skim milk
Melt the butter and add the flour. Cook for 1 minute on medium heat (it should bubble). Pre warm the milk. Take the roux off the heat and slowly add the milk in a small stream while whisking it into the roux. Once all the milk has been added and you are sure you do not have any lumps, return to heat and gradually bring to a boil. If it is too thick add a little more milk even cold. When ready, season with fresh ground pepper and nutmeg.  The white sauce should not be piping hot when preparing the cannelloni. The portion added to the meat can be hot however.
Modenese Cannelloni (a slight variation, very delicate in flavor)
200 gm ground beef, lean, high quality
2-3 cloves garlic
one branch of rosemary
50 gm butter
50 gm grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Sauté ground meat with the chopped garlic and the whole branch of rosemary in the butter. Cook for 15 minutes and take off heat to cool. When almost cool, add the grated Parmigiano and stir. Set aside while preparing the Béchamel.
Add ½ liter béchamel and stir into the meat mixture set aside.
To prepare the pasta, either make it or if possible, buy fresh lasagna strips. If not, you will have to use a pastry bag to fill cannelloni shells (not as good as fresh pasta that is for sure and take forever to fill).
Grease a baking pan with olive oil. Drizzle some white sauce on the bottom. If using fresh pasta strips, make rectangles about 8 in x 6in. Fill with a spoon of meat mix and roll. Place in the pan. Fill all the strips or rolls. When done you should have white sauce to drizzle over the tops of the cannelloni then toss a couple of handfuls of grated Parmigiano. Bake in a hot oven for 20 min. 375F until bubbly and browned. Serve immediately with a green salad. These are rich so you do not need anything else but salad and or veggies.

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