Cannelloni al Forno

Adapted from Mario Batali: Molto Italiano, 327 Simple Recipes to Cook at Home


Makes 4 servings



For the cannelloni filling:

  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more for garnishing pasta
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 recipe basic pasta dough
  • 1 cup simple red sauce
  • 1 cup besciamella


For the Besciamello:

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg



Step 1: To make the besciamello: In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until light golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Step 2: Meanwhile, heat milk in separate pan until just about to boil. Add milk to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth and bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes and remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside.
Step 3: To make the cannelloni filling: In a large skillet, heat the butter over high heat until it foams and subsides. Add the ground pork and veal and cook over high heat until it begins to brown in its own fat. 
Step 4: Drain the excess fat and add the Parmigiano, the flour and the milk and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir in the egg. Set aside.
Step 5: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 6: Roll the pasta out to the thinnest setting on a pasta rolling machine and cut it into rectangles measuring 4 inches by 6 inches. 
Step 7: Drop the pasta rectangles into the boiling water, 5 ot 6 at a time, and cook until tender, about 1 minute.  Transfer to an ice water bath to cool for 1 minutes, then drain on kitchen towels, laying the rectangles flat.
Step 8: Spoon about 3 tablespoons of meat filling just above one long edge of each rectangle, and roll the pasta up around the filling to form a cylinder.
Step 9: In an 8 or 9-inch square, oven-proof casserole, spoon half the tomato sauce across the bottom in an even layer. Carefully lay each pasta package in the casserole so that they are in a single layer. 
Step 10: Top with the remaining tomato sauce, then the bechamel. Finish with the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.  
Step 11: Bake in the oven 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauces and cheese are bubbling and the edges of the pasta are crispy and browned. Serve immediately from the cooking dish.


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