Since my sister and her husband came down from Columbia South Carolina to watch the Super Bowl and since they gave up watching it on their 60 inch TV, I decided to make cannelloni. Many readers have demanded that I post the recipe. It takes a long time (about three hours for one person) to make and uses a lot of dishes. Usually, when you get cannelloni in a restaurant, it has either a white sauce or a red sauce. The first time I ever tasted cannelloni, it had both sauces so that’s what I use. Also, the recipe that my sister found, uses both a white and a red sauce. Unfortunately, it called for veal and beef. The first cannelloni I ever tasted used chicken and beef, so that’s what I use. I also make my pasta from scratch. You can get manicotti shells and stuff them but homemade pasta is best.
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
4 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons salad oil
Place the 2 1/4 cups four in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, salad oil, and water and mix them together. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead the dough for about five minutes. It should be very stiff. Cover with a towel and let stand for 30 minutes. Now, you can do one of two things. You can use a pasta maker or you can roll it out on a floured surface. Don’t make the pasta until the filling, the red sauce, and the white sauce are ready.
I tried to use my pasta machine yesterday, and I had a hard time, so I went retro and rolled it out with a rolling pin. It’s not hard to do and you can still roll it thin. The thinner the better.
Roll the pasta out (do it in batches) as thin as you can and divide it into 4 inch squares. Drop them into boiling water.
I like my pasta al dente so I only cook for about two minutes.
Spread the pasta on damp paper towels and cover them with damp paper towels. You will need 28 squares.
What I do is use a plate. Put a damp paper towel on it. Put three squares on it, cover with a paper towel, put three more squares on, cover with a paper towel, and so on.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 pound boneless veal cubed
1 pound chicken breast cubed
1 cup dry white wine
3 egg yokes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup mornay sauce (recipe below)
1 clove garlic minced
7 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion. When onion is clear, add garlic. Add veal and chicken and brown on all sides on medium heat. Add white wine, cover, and simmer for an hour.
Be careful that all of the wine doesn’t cook away. That’s what I did yesterday. Hey, I haven’t made this in over ten years so I was rusty. If it looks like that will happen add more wine or reduce the cooking time. We just want to make sure that the chicken and veal are cooked all the way through and that there is some liquid left. Remember the first rule of cooking with wine: Do not use a wine that you wouldn’t drink yourself. None of this “cooking wine” bullshit. This allows you to have a glass of wine while you’re cooking. I used a Stone Hill Vidal Blanc, but a Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc would do as well. I wouldn’t use a Chardonnay for this.
Put the contents of the saucepan, a little at a time into a food processor (if you don’t have one use a blender. I did that once) and blend until smooth. When all the meat is blended, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the egg yolks, salt, pepper, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, spinach, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of the mornay sauce. Mix ingredients together thoroughly.
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
Heat the butter in a saucepan. When melted, blend in the flour and cook slowly for two minutes to create a roux. Add milk and stir until the sauce comes to a boil. Remove it from the heat and add salt and cheese stirring with a whisk until smooth.
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup dry red wine (remember my rule on wine)
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion and saute until clear. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Then simmer for about a half hour, stirring several times until sauce has thickened slightly.
Now, we’re ready to assemble. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place three tablespoons of meat stuffing on one of the pasta squares until there is a center strip of stuffing down the square. Roll up and place the tube, seam side down into a large greased or buttered (I use Pam) baking dish (the one I use is 9×15) If the tubes are the right size, you should be able to put two tubes side by side. You can push the tubes really close together. Pour the remaining mornay sauce over the cannelloni spreading evenly. Then, spoon the tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. I made a tossed salad and I served a 1998 Mocca Gata Barbaresco from my cellar (alas, I think it’s my last one) with it, and it was the perfect wine. Another alas, I think it was my last bottle of it. I didn’t do a very good job on the dish yesterday (like I said, I was rusty, but both my sister and her husband had seconds. And, there is enough left over for me to get another meal out of it. My sister also made an apple pie for dessert. She makes the best apple pie in the world. Leftover cannelloni and leftover apple pie. Yummy! We also had gooey butter cake for breakfast.
Back in St. Louis, my football parties were legend. My friend Alixe, commented about them on a FB post today. She hated football but she loved to come to my football parties, because back then, I was a really good cook.
When my sister still lived in California, and I went for Christmas and stayed until New Years, on New Years Day, we would make cannelloni. The first time we did it, one of my cousins, who used to live in the Bay Area, would come to dinner on New Years Day. He had never had cannelloni before. He asked what it was and we told him pasta stuffed with veal and chicken with a white and a red sauce. He very politely put one tube on his plate. By the end of the meal, he was scraping the sauce out of the baking dish with a spoon. The next year, he asked if we were making cannelloni again, and it became a tradition. Sherry (who is a much better cook than I am) and I would cook and my mom would do the dishes. Like I said, it takes a lot of dishes and pots and pans.
If any of you make it, let me know how it turns out.