A great recipe for a family meal.
Cannelloni Al Forno
- Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus 25 minutes, if making the béchamel sauce from scratch
- Cooking time: 55 minutes, plus 10 minutes, if making the béchamel sauce from scratch
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed (minced)
- 340 g (12 oz) minced/ground beef
- 400 g can (½ × 28 oz can) chopped/diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 360 ml (12 fl oz) passata (1½ cups)
- 16 cannelloni shells
- béchamel sauce, made with 300 ml (10 fl oz) milk*
- 115 g (4 oz) mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded (1 cup)
- 55 g (2 oz) Parmesan, grated/ shredded (½ cup)
- You will also need an ovenproof dish large enough to take 16 filled cannelloni shells in a single layer.
- *In the UK you can buy packets of powered béchamel sauce to which you just add milk and heat. However, I can’t find this in Canada and so have to make the sauce from scratch, which is very easy. You will find the recipe below.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), (gas 4).
- If making the béchamel sauce from scratch, make it now (see below).
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet then gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Now add the meat and brown over a medium heat for 5 minutes, breaking up any clumps as it browns.
- Next stir in the tomatoes along with the seasonings. Gently simmer for 10 minutes.
- If making the béchamel sauce from a packet, make it now, following the directions on the packet.
- Pour half the passata into the ovenproof dish.
- Fill the cannelloni shells with the meat mixture, placing them in the dish as you go.
- Now pour over the remaining passata and then top with the béchamel sauce.
- Sprinkle over the mozzarella and then the Parmesan covering the sauce completely.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- In UK the packets of grated mozzarella have no additional additives. In Canada the shredded mozzarella does. To avoid the additives, shred block mozzarella, popping it in the freezer for 30 minutes first to firm up. It will make shredding easier.
- 300 ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups), warmed
- 1 shallot, skinned and sliced OR a small piece of onion skinned
- 1 small carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
- 1 stick celery, washed and thickly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 peppercorns
- 28 g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
- 3 tbsp flour
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- Pour the milk into a small pan. Add the vegetables, bay leaf, and peppercorns then bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover the pan and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the milk, discarding the vegetables and flavourings.
- Melt the butter in a clean pan and then, over a low heat, blend in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and then slowly add the milk, stirring continuously, until the mixture is smooth. Now return the pan to the heat and cook the sauce until it thickens, stirring continuously. Season to taste.