Cannelloni with cheese sauce

Description

Create a warm Italian atmosphere with cannelloni. It is easy with tomatoes from a tin, available at all seasons.

Ingredients

1⁄2 c onion (finely chopped)
2 T cooking oil (olive oil is best)
3⁄4 lb meat (ground beef, ground pork or a combination of both)
1 cn tomato (chopped, 12 oz tin)
1 clv garlic (optional, finely chopped or grated)
1 c mushroom (sliced)
1⁄2 c broth (beef broth or beef stock)
  salt (to taste)
  pepper (ground, to taste)
8 cannelloni (tubes or squares)
1 T flour (heaped)
1 T butter (or margarine)
1 1⁄2 c milk
1⁄4 c cheese (grated, best Parmesan cheese)
  seasoning (optional, herbs such as basil, oregano or bay leaf)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a pan, and fry the onion over a high heat, moving constantly, until golden brown.
  2. Reduce heat and add the meat and garlic, if using. Brown the meat for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato, mushrooms, tomato paste, broth, salt, pepper, and other condiments. Cover the pan and simmer very slowly for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Soak or cook the pasta, as directed on the pack, and leave on cold water until the meat sauce is ready.
  5. Drain the pasta and divide the meat sauce between the 8 cannelloni, roll them up if using pasta squares, and place them in a heat proof pan.
  6. Heat the oven to 375º F.
  7. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the flour in the butter for 1-2 minutes to make a roux.
  8. Add the milk, whisking vigorously, and cook over a low heat until the sauce thickens.
  9. Add the grated cheese and cook for 2 minutes more, or until the cheese melts.
  10. Pour the cheese sauce over the stuffed cannelloni. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  11. Serve warm.

Notes

A mix of 2 parts ground beef, 1 part ground pork works well.

Herbs and spices for seasoning depend on personal taste. Oregano or basil work well, but bay leaf also gives a nice taste to the sauce.

For adults only, add a little white wine to the meat and heat for a couple of minutes to evaporate the alcohol before adding the tinned tomatoes.

Variations

Substitute cannelloni with 8 savory pancakes. You will need about 1 1/2 cups batter prepared with 4 Tablespoons flour, 1 beaten egg and 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk to make 8 small pancakes.

This recipe can also be made with corn or wheat tortillas, using American cheese and a little chili powder as seasoning.

Yield
4 servings
Preparation time
20
Cooking time
90
Total time
1 hour, 50 minutes