August: Potlucks!

August Theme: Potlucks. What do you take with you?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


This is quite an involved recipe, but you can take short cuts (like using premade pasta). I got it from my mom who served her mission in Italy. It's one of my favorites . . . and with keeping to this month's theme, perfect for a romantic evening.

1 ½ cups flour
1 egg
1 egg white
1 T olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 T water
(Or you may use canneloni or manicotti premade pasta...the trick is to cut the tubes after cooking them to stuff with filling and roll them up seam side down in the pan.)

2 T olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry
1 lb lean ground beef
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 T heavy cream
2 eggs slightly beaten
¾ tsp crumbled oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp coarsely ground pepper

Béchamel sauce:
4 T butter
4 T flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper

Tomato sauce:
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 (32 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp dried sweet basil
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp coarsely ground pepper

¼ cup parmesan cheese
3 T butter

To Prepare Pasta: Mix pasta ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until dough forms a ball. Cover and let rest 30 minute. On a floured board roll pasta into a thin 12 x 16 inch rectangle. Cut in 32 rectangles, each measuring 2x3 inches. (or use a pasta machine) In a stockpot bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta, stir gently and cook for 6-7 minutes. Drain, cool slightly and lay on paper towels to dry.

To prepare filling, sauté onion in oil in a large skillet until translucent. Add spinach and cook until moisture has evaporated. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Brown ground beef in the same skillet, drain any grease and add to spinach mixture. Add parmesan, cream, eggs, oregano, salt and pepper: Set aside.

To prepare Béchamel: Make a roux of the butter and the flour in a medium size saucepan: do not brown. Add milk and cram all at once. Whisk briskly until thickened Season with salt and white pepper, remove from heat and set aside.

To prepare tomato sauce: In a large saucepan make tomato sauce. Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the remaining 7 ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Before assembling Canneloni, whirl sauce in a blender or strain through a sieve if desired. Preheat oven to 375°.

To assemble canneloni, place a heaping T of filling on to each pasta rectangle and roll up. Pour 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a lag baking dish. Lay the canneloni side-by-side in one layer over the sauce. Pour Béchamel sauce over cannelloni and spoon the remaining tomato sauce over all.

Sprinkle with parmesan and dot with butter. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until cheese melts and sauce bubbles. Place under broiler for 30 second to brown on top.

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