22 July 2013

Plate Up. Homemade Canneloni

Ok, I’m giving you plenty of warning here. Do not attempt this dish unless you have plenty of time to spare and thrive on the feeling of intense pressure! This is a time and labour intensive dish. Having said that it really does taste amazing and if you are feeling adventurous I can guarantee you’ll feel so proud of your efforts when you take the first bite. I love making my own pasta but it does depend on whether I have the time. The fresh stuff truly tastes so much better so if you haven’t tried it then I encourage you to. If you don’t have a pasta roller you can still make this dish, just a little more effort required as you will have to hand roll the dough with a rolling pin. Serves 4.

What you’ll need
200g plain flour
2 eggs

500g beef mince
1 brown onion, diced
bunch of basil
1 dessert spoon oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Tomato Sauce
1 tin diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil

200g tasty cheese, grated

What to do
First make your pasta. Place flour on bench-top with a well in the middle. Crack eggs in. With a fork in one hand and the other supporting the edges slowing whisk eggs whilst gently bringing flour in together. Once combined, gently knead the pasta dough for about 5 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you push it with one finger and it springs back. Wrap in cling-wrap and set aside for 30 minutes to rest.

Now make your mince filling. Brown off onions and mince, add herbs and paste and leave to cook on a low heat until the mixture is dry.

While that’s slowly cooking away, make your tomato sauce by browning off onion and garlic in olive oil. Then add in diced tomatoes and paste, stir well and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

By now your pasta should be well rested. Split dough into 2 sections and punch down until it’s thin enough to fit through the widest setting of your pasta maker. Roll through and fold into 3, rotate 90 degrees and roll through the pasta maker again. Continue this process until the dough is the width of the machine. Now begin to roll your dough thinner, going through each setting until you reach the second last. Repeat with other ball of dough. Leave pasta to dry for 5 minutes on a chair lined with a tea-towel.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Check on your mince and sauce. By now they should be about right to turn off. Place a new saucepan on the stove with salted boiling water ready to blanche your pasta.

Cut your pasta into 15cm lengths (you should end up with about 16 rectangles). One at a time place the pasta rectangles into the boiling water and let them blanche for about 2 minutes each. When you pull them out of the water, lay individually to dry.

Meanwhile place your tomato sauce in a large, shallow casserole dish. Once pasta sheets have dried spoon mince along the shorter side of the pasta. Roll up gently and place with the sealed side down in the tomato paste. Repeat for all pasta sheets, ensuring the cannelloni are well coated by the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with ¾ of the cheese and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with remaining cheese.

Photos by Krissie.