CLASSIC pasta cannelloni - how to make them








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To make cannelloni, you will need fresh pasta, ready to be cooked; béchamel sauce; and the mixture  you are going to use in the cannelloni.

With all of this taken care of, off you go:

Steps in making cannelloni:

Prepare the fresh pasta, (how to make fresh pasta) white or green. Have it as thin as possible. (If you are buying fresh pasta prepared sheets, frequently it is best to run the sheets through your pasta machine one more time at a tighter setting).

Cut the fresh pasta strips into about 5 or 6 inch squares.

>>Prepare the béchamel sauce, and have it ready.

>>Prepare the filling of choice.

Butter the bottom of a baking dish, and add two to three tablespoons of béchamel sauce.

Prepare for cooking the pasta: have a pot of 4-5 quarts of salted water boiling furiously; have a bowl of ice water; and have some dry towels, all in the vicinity.


Drop in a few of the cut pasta strips. Cook for just an instant, depending on the freshness of the pasta: anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or a gripper, or whatever works, and plunge the pasta strips immediately into the ice water. Pick up the strips, and if you want to do the best job possible, rinse the strips immediately under cold water, to rinse off the starch; dry them off as well as you can, by gently squeezing or wiping with a towel; and then put the strips onto another towel to dry.

Put the square of pasta on a cutting board. Put two to three tablespoons of the stuffing on the square. You can either put the stuffing along one edge of the pasta and then roll it up to the opposite side, pressing and evening out as you roll. Or you can coat the square with a fairly even level of the stuffing, going almost but not quite to the edges, and then rolling it up as a jelly roll.


Put the cannelloni in the buttered and béchamel baking dish seam side down, and packed quite closely together. Add at least three to five tablespoons of the béchamel sauce to the top of cannelloni, allowing some of the sauce to go down between the individual cannelloni. Sprinkle grated parmesan over the top.

Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. After about fifteen minutes, take off the cover to allow a golden crust to happen. Allow the cannelloni to settle a few minutes before serving.

>>Presentation option: after the baking is completed (above) we like to add two more tablespoons of parmesan scattered on top of the cannelloni and then put them under the broiler for two minutes. Finally, when we are serving the cannelloni on the warmed plates, we add another tablespoon of bechamel on and around the cannelloni on each serving plate, and top each presentation with a sprig of parsley.





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