Friday, January 29, 2010

Meat Stuffed Canneloni

Homemade pasta never fails to impress people, myself included and even when I am the one prepareing it. It simply tastes so good and satisfies so well that I have come to do it on a more regular basis. And despite the fact that I have been making it for over 20 years it wasn't until the other night that it hit me; homemade pasta really is not as time consuming as it seems to loom in my mind (and for others less accustomed to making homemade noodles).

In 10-12 minutes I had mixed the dough, kneaded it, and set it aside to rest wrapped in a damp cloth. As it rested for about 15 minutes I prepared a meat filling, a quick tomato sauce and returned to roll out the pasta. I don't use a pasta machine because I love the control of using a rolling pin but also because I hate having to clean up the parts of a machine!

For this batch I used half of the dough to make 5 meat stuffed canneloni and used the rest of the dough to make a quick cheese ravioli with some fresh sage. I took the canneloni to work for lunches for a couple of days and felt very smug about my 1 hour's worth of work that produced such a homey, delicious meal!

Meat Stuffed Canneloni

Pasta (double this recipe to make more than 5 canneloni)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
2 teaspoons milk

Meat Sauce
4 sweet Italian sausage
1/2 onion, minced
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup tomatoes, diced

2 cups prepared tomato sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Make egg pasta according to instructions here. Wrap in damp dish cloth and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break open sausage and remove casing. Crumble sausage into skillet and cook until browned. Add onion and cook another 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 3 minutes and then add 2 tablespoons of milk and cook on high until it is absorbed. Remove from heat.

Roll pasta out as thin as possible. Cut into 5 x 8 inch rectangles. Stuff each sheet with 3 tablespoons meat sauce and gently roll into a log, placing seam side down in baking pan. Make white sauce by melting butter in skillet and stirring in flour. Add 1/2 of milk and blend in well. Once all of milk is absorbed add remaining milk and blend in. Blend in until all of milk is absorbed. Cook another 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens. Pour tomato sauce over stuffed canneloni, pour white sauce over top of tomato sauce, spread around evenly. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 20-30 minutes until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbling.

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