Annabel (aka Bel) and I were at the supermarket quite a while ago and as we walked through the pasta section, she pointed out Barilla’s Cannelloni, asking me if I had seen such a pasta shape before. Despite being quite a pasta fan, I have never noticed nor tried it before. We decided to get it. Bel is a really awesome cook and one day, we were surprised with cannelloni stuffed with minced beef for dinner – it was heavenly!
It was really fun writing up this recipe since Bel hardly ever measures any of the ingredients. Hence, I ended up having to quiz her and to challenge her to give me less approximates. Like other pastas, baked cannelloni is a very versatile dish and you could potentially fill them with almost anything! Think of it as a clear-the-fridge meal where you just need to dice everything up and fill the cannelloni.
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Cannelloni Stuffed Minced Beef
1 tbsp butter
1 cup skim milk
3 tbsp corn starch
150 ml heavy cream
4 oz grated cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1. Over medium fire, put the butter in a medium to large pot. When butter is melted, add corn starch, milk and cream. Whisk the mixture until it is homogeneous.
2. Pour in the cheddar cheese and continue whisking. Add the salt and whisk until the the sauce is thick, about 3 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick for your liking, add water to thin it down. Taste and add more salt if desired.
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium sized carrot, diced
375g minced beef
1 can whole peeled tomato (save 1/8 cup of the liquid for later)
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
3 oz spinach, chopped finely
Additional salt, pepper and tomato puree to taste
1. In a large, wide skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and stir until it is soft, but not brown.
2. Add the carrots and stir until carrots are soft, about 3 minutes.
3. Add minced beef, constantly breaking any chunks of minced beef to loosen it up. Turn down to low heat and cook until all the minced beef is cooked.
4. Add the can tomato and stir. Add salt and italian seasoning. If you like the tomato taste to be stronger, add tomato puree.
5. Add spinach and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if desired. Spinach does not need to be cooked. Set aside.
1/2 – 3/4 pot of water
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 box (250g) cannelloni pasta (we use barilla brand)
1/8 cup can whole peeled tomato liquid (saved from above)
grated parmesan cheese
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, pour water until it is 1/2 to 3/4 full. Add the oil and the salt and set over high heat. Boil until cannelloni is slightly soft but not fully cooked, about 8 minutes. When done, strain the water out and pour cold tap water over the pasta so that they do not stick.
2. Preheat oven to 190°C or 375°F.
3. Take out a large rectangular baking dish. Holding the cannelloni with you left hand and a teaspoon on your right hand, scoop some of the filling and fill the cannelloni. Lay the filled cannelloni on the baking dish. It is okay to put multiple layers of filled cannelloni on top of one another if there are extra. Do not throw away the cannelloni that are completely broken. You can lay them on top.
4. Pour the sauce over the filled cannelloni, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the tomato liquid all over and grate as much parmesan cheese as you desire on top. Put in preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is brown.