Antonia Landi

Cannelloni – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on August 31, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Picture: Dishbase.com

What better way to stay warm than a lovely, comforting, pasta dish. With a few tips and tricks you’ll be serving this one in no time!

Cannelloni always remind me of festive days – at home, we would have it at Christmas or on somebody’s birthday. So it’s needless to say that I find it to be a very comforting dish! It’s also a great dish to serve at a dinner party – it’s a bit more unusual than Lasagne and just as tasty!

One of the main features of this dish is that you can prepare it the night before. On the big day, all you need to do is pop it in the oven and then you can tend to your guests while dinner is basically making itself. Pretty clever! What’s more is that you can easily alternate between Lasagne and Cannelloni – you’ll need exactly the same ingredients, all that changes is the pasta shape. A bit like changing between square and round pizza if you ask me! So now that you already know how to make Cannelloni and Lasagne, all you need is learning how to make a basic tomato sauce. I know that some of the pre-made ones out there are pretty good, but once you get into the habit of doing this, there is really no going back. Coincidentally, it takes just as much time to make a small portion of pasta sauce as it takes for the pasta itself to cook, so there’s really no excuse!

One last note on pasta sheets/tubes – I recommend using either De Cecco or Buitoni, as these are made to the high quality standard that you would expect in Italy. Though there is nothing wrong with buying supermarkets’ own brand pasta, these do tend to cook slightly differently. If you want a bake that stays al dente, do opt for one of the aforementioned brands.

Feeds 4:

1 box Cannelloni

500g mince

Approx. 200g cheese of your choice (I prefer mild Gouda to the more traditional mozzarella, as it provides an equally mild flavour with less moisture)

Approx. 50g breadcrumbs, depending on how dry you would like the mix

Grated hard cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

For the tomato sauce:

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1tbsp tomato concentrate

Garlic

Half an onion

Olive oil

Spices and flavours to taste (eg chilli or fresh basil, or even capers!)

Gently fry the chopped onion and garlic in some olive oil until see-through. Add the chopped tomatoes and concentrate. Season and add any other flavours of your choice and simmer on a low heat for approx 10-20 minutes, depending on how ‘dry’ you like it.

Cover the cannelloni with tinfoil and bake on a medium heat for 20 minutes. Carefully uncover and bake for a further 20 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

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