Monday, April 2, 2012

Cannelloni ! Some assembly required.

Yesterday was a cold, snowy/rainy stay-in-the-house kind of day.  Since we didn't feel like leaving the house, I thought I'd play in my kitchen with some new kitchen toys.   I got new pizzelli maker and had been eager to make pizzelli and cannoli and fun desserts with it.  More about the desserts later, though, because first I want to share a wonderful recipe for Cannelloni that I received years ago and hadn't made in ages and thought it would be the perfect dinner to go with our dessert. 

So, if you would like to join us, come into my kitchen and join us for Cannelloni, spinach/strawberry salad and pizzelli and cannoli for dessert.

Join me in my kitchen (yes, I know I'm sloppy with sauce splashes) as I assemble to cannelloni:

If you'd like the complete recipe, feel free to copy it:

Cannelloni Recipe:

2 Tblsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 10 ounce pkg. frozen chopped spinach: defrosted, squeezed dry OR use fresh spinach
2 Tblsp. butter
1 lb. Italian sausage or you can use ground beef if you prefer
5 Tblsp parmesan cheese, freshly grated if you have it
2 Tblsp. heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. of dried oregano - crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in skillet and add onions and garlic cooking over moderate heat and stirring frequently until they are soft but NOT brown. Stir in spinach and cook stirring constantly. When all of the moisture boils away, transferto a large bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and brown sausage meat: add the meat to the spinach-onion mixture. Add parmesan cheese, cream, eggs and oregano. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4 Tblsp. butter
4 Tblsp. flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
In heavy pan melt butter over moderate heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in flour. Pour in mild and cream all at once, whisking constantly until four partially dissolves. Return pan to heat (high) and cook, stirring constantly. When sauce comes to boil and is smooth, reduce heat. Simmer, still stirring, for2 - 3 minutes until sauce is thick enough to coat the whisk heavily. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

3 cups tomato sauce
4 Tblsp. paremesan cheese
2 Tblsp. butter cut in small pieces.
Assembling and baking:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill cooked pasta shells with filling. Pour film of tomato sauce into the baking dish and then lay cannelloni side by side in one layer on tomato sacue. Pour besciamell over the pasta ad spoon the rest of the tomato sauce on top. Scatter 4 Tbsp of cheese and dot with butter. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.



And now for the fun desserts!  I mentioned I recently got a pizzelle maker.  It looks similar to a waffle iron and embosses the treats with pretty patterns.  You can serve pizzelle in a multitude of ways.  First I made flat ones, flavored with pure anise oil and dusted with powdered sugar (icing sugar). 

You can also make cannoli from the pizzelli.  As I removed the pizzelle from the machine I rolled the shell while it was hot around a large wooden dowel.   ( your fingers!  it is hot).  Once it has cooled it holds its cone shape then I filled them with ricotta/icing sugar mixture and chopped cherries and minature chocolate chips.  Then dusted them with icing sugar too. 

I think we'll have great fun with the pizzelle maker this summer when we can make waffle cones from it and fill them with homemade ice cream.  I know our grandgirls will have fun with that!

Until next time,



  1. OMG, amazing! Everything looks so good, and I swear I could smell all those wonderful ingredients cooking. Your house must have smelled like heaven!! Who knew you were a nice Italian girl and such a good getting to know more about you. Desert look canoli. Thanks for sharing this chef side of yourself....very interesting!!!


  2. Awww Jennifer your thank you card is stunning lovely fresh clean layout , wonderful colouring..hope you set enuff places think ALL your meece sisters will want to join you on this feast.. everything looks very mouth watering well done chef..

    smiles Christine x


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