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Cannelloni

  • 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Difficult
  • First Courses
A hearty and satisfying Italian pasta dish

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 7 oz all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 oz ground beef
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion, small
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 2 oz ham
  • ½ oz white truffle
  • 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 tomatoes
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 oz all-purpose flour
  • nutmeg to taste
  • 3 oz butter
  • ½ cup meat sauce
  • 3 ½ oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

To begin, place the dried mushrooms in a bowl of warm water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Then, pour the flour out onto a flat work surface and shape it into a well. Add the eggs to the center and incorporate the flour into the eggs by hand. Alternatively, you can use a food processor. Work the dough until it is smooth and even, then let it rest for 20 minutes covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap.  

Use a rolling pin or pasta machine to roll out the dough into very thin sheets. Cut out about 30, 4-inch squares. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 or 3 pasta squares at a time and cook for about 30 seconds.

Once the squares have been cooked, remove them from the water and place them on a damp cloth to cool. Repeat with all the squares.

Then, peel and finely chop the carrot, onion and celery. Place a pan over medium heat, add ¾ oz of butter to the pan and, once the butter has melted, add the chopped vegetables and chopped parsley. Cook until the onion becomes translucent. Next add the ground meat to the pan. Stir and let brown for a couple of minutes, then add chopped prosciutto crudo, a dusting of finely sliced white truffle, and previously-soaked mushrooms. Finish with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the wine and cook for 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Stir the sauce while adding the flour. Also add chopped tomatoes and one or two tbsp of meat sauce. Cook for over medium heat for an additional 40 minutes.

Once the sauce is fairly dense, remove it from the heat and spread it across a baking dish to cool. Place a tbsp. of sauce in the center of each pasta square. Roll the squares to make the cannelloni.

Place the cannelloni in a single layer in a baking dish that is either greased with butter or lined with parchment paper. Cover the cannelloni with the remaining sauce, a dusting of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and small pieces of butter.

Bake the cannelloni in a 350°F for about 20 minutes or until they are nicely browned on the top.

Serve hot.

Food History

Even when used in small amounts, spices are ingredients that give an incredible amount of flavor to a dish. One of the most commonly used spices in Italian cuisine, together with black pepper, is nutmeg, which is non other than the dried seed of the fruit of a tree found in the Moluku Islands located in the Pacific Ocean.

Like saffron up until a few centuries ago, nutmeg was very expensive with a value comparable to that of gold. Nutmeg’s high price tag was due to the difficulty of importing it to Europe. This spice was so desirable that in the 16th century, Holland and England entered into war in order to control of the areas where it was produced.

After years of conflict, the war came to an end. In 1665, the Dutch took over the Run Islands from the British in exchange for a small island off the Western coast of North America. After a few centuries, this small island became non other than Manhattan.

Did you know that

If consumed in large quantities, nutmeg can have a slight hallucinogenic effect?

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