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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Italian Sausage, Spinach, and Ricotta Stuffed Cannelloni

Stuffed Cannelloni
Okay so this one was just for me tonight.  It's an adaptation of a recipe that Kelsey Nixon did one day on the Cooking Channel.  It was just lovely.. the perfect thing on a dark, rainy evening with a nice glass of red.



 Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • just a smidge of grated nutmeg (sorry Mom)
Directions for Filling:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion until fragrant and translucent.

1 Tbsp EVOO + 1 medium onion, diced small
Add the Italian sausage meat, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon and brown it until no longer pink, about 10 to 12 minutes.
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

Add the fresh spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted down and tender. Add just a little grating of fresh nutmeg.
1 (10-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach + a little nutmeg
Drain the excess fat and liquid from the mixture in a colander lined with papertowels, and set aside to cool. After cool, transfer meat mixture to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the liquid as best you can.



In a large mixing bowl stir together the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, eggs, salt, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese + 1 1/2 cups Parmesan + 2 large eggs + S/P to taste

Add in the the cooled, drained meat/spinach mixture,

Fresh Pasta Dough, recipe follows:
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • A pinch sea salt
For the pasta:
1. Sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center with your fist.


1 2/3 c flour + 2 large eggs + 1 Tbsp olive oil + pinch of kosher salt
2. Break the eggs into the well and add the oil and a pinch of salt to the well.

3. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using the fingers of one hand, bringing the ingredients together into a firm dough. If the dough feels too dry, add a few drops of water; if it’s too wet, add a little more flour.

4. Knead the pasta until smooth, 2 to 5 minutes. Lightly massage it with a hint of olive oil, pop the dough into a plastic food bag, and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. The pasta will be much more elastic after resting.

Pass the dough through the pasta machine:
Divide the pasta dough into 4 even sections. Keep each section covered with plastic wrap or a clean towel while you work with each one. Flour the dough, the rollers of a pasta roller (or your rolling pin), your hands, and the work surface.


1. Start to feed the blob of pasta dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine. As the sheet of dough comes out of the machine, fold it into thirds and then feed it through the rollers again, still on the widest setting. Pass the dough through this setting a total of 4 or 5 times. This effectively kneads the dough, ensuring the resulting pasta is silky smooth.

2. Pass the pasta through the machine again, starting at the widest setting and gradually reducing the settings, one pass at a time, until the pasta achieves the required thickness. The pasta sheet will become very long—if you are having trouble keeping the dough from folding onto itself or are making ravioli, cut the sheet of dough in half and feed each half through separately. Generally the second-from-last setting is best forcannelloni, ravioli and any other shapes that are to be filled.


3. After the pasta has reached the requisite thickness, you can dust the pasta with a little flour and place it on clean kitchen towels and let it rest for just a short spell.

4. Cut the sheets into 6 by-7-inch rectangles.


If rolling the pasta by hand: Flatten a dough piece into a thick oval disk with your hands. Flour a baking sheet for the rolled out finished pasta. Place the oval dough disk on a floured work surface, and sprinkle with additional flour. Begin rolling out the dough with a floured rolling pin working from the center of the dough outwards, constantly moving the dough and lifting it to make sure it's not sticking.

Additional Ingredients:
4 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (I used Classico brand - tomato basil)
Fresh basil, for garnish

Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Assembly:
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the fresh pasta rectangles for 1 minute and remove with a slotted spatula.
Set aside.

In a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, spread 2 cups tomato sauce.
Working with 1 pasta rectangle at a time, spread filling along one edge and roll the pasta sheet up tightly, leaving the ends open. Repeat.

   * tonight, I used only half the pasta and half the filling.  I made 6 smaller cannelloni... which were still pretty big in my opinion.  Now I have enough goodies left for another night.  :-)  

  * You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but allow it to return to room temperature before rolling it out. 

Arrange the prepared cannelloni, seam-side down, in a single layer in the baking dish.



Spoon the remaining 2 cups tomato sauce evenly over the cannelloni. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup grated Parmesan over top.

Bake the cannelloni for 20 minutes and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Serve the cannelloni with extra tomato sauce from the baking dish and garnish with fresh basil.

Enjoy!!

Written Method:
 Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • just a smidge of grated nutmeg (sorry Mom)
Directions for Filling:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion until fragrant and translucent.


Add the Italian sausage meat, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon and brown it until no longer pink, about 10 to 12 minutes.



Add the fresh spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted down and tender. Add just a little grating of fresh nutmeg.

Drain the excess fat and liquid from the mixture in a colander lined with papertowels, and set aside to cool. After cool, transfer meat mixture to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the liquid as best you can

In a large mixing bowl stir together the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, eggs, salt, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Add in the the cooled, drained meat/spinach mixture,

Fresh Pasta Dough, recipe follows:
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • A pinch sea salt
For the pasta:
1. Sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center with your fist.

2. Break the eggs into the well and add the oil and a pinch of salt to the well.

3. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using the fingers of one hand, bringing the ingredients together into a firm dough. If the dough feels too dry, add a few drops of water; if it’s too wet, add a little more flour.
4. Knead the pasta until smooth, 2 to 5 minutes. Lightly massage it with a hint of olive oil, pop the dough into a plastic food bag, and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. The pasta will be much more elastic after resting.

Pass the dough through the pasta machine:
Divide the pasta dough into 4 even sections. Keep each section covered with plastic wrap or a clean towel while you work with each one. Flour the dough, the rollers of a pasta roller (or your rolling pin), your hands, and the work surface.

1. Start to feed the blob of pasta dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine. As the sheet of dough comes out of the machine, fold it into thirds and then feed it through the rollers again, still on the widest setting. Pass the dough through this setting a total of 4 or 5 times. This effectively kneads the dough, ensuring the resulting pasta is silky smooth.

2. Pass the pasta through the machine again, starting at the widest setting and gradually reducing the settings, one pass at a time, until the pasta achieves the required thickness. The pasta sheet will become very long—if you are having trouble keeping the dough from folding onto itself or are making ravioli, cut the sheet of dough in half and feed each half through separately. Generally the second-from-last setting is best forcannelloni, ravioli and any other shapes that are to be filled.

3. After the pasta has reached the requisite thickness, you can dust the pasta with a little flour and place it on clean kitchen towels and let it rest for just a short spell.

4. Cut the sheets into 6 by-7-inch rectangles.

If rolling the pasta by hand: Flatten a dough piece into a thick oval disk with your hands. Flour a baking sheet for the rolled out finished pasta. Place the oval dough disk on a floured work surface, and sprinkle with additional flour. Begin rolling out the dough with a floured rolling pin working from the center of the dough outwards, constantly moving the dough and lifting it to make sure it's not sticking.

Additional Ingredients:
4 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (I used Classico brand - tomato basil)
Fresh basil, for garnish

Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Assembly:
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the fresh pasta rectangles for 1 minute and remove with a slotted spatula.

Set aside.


In a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, spread 2 cups tomato sauce.

Working with 1 pasta rectangle at a time, spread filling along one edge and roll the pasta sheet up tightly, leaving the ends open. Repeat.


   * tonight, I used only half the pasta and half the filling.  I made 6 smaller cannelloni... which were still pretty big in my opinion.  Now I have enough goodies left for another night.  :-)  

  * You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but allow it to return to room temperature before rolling it out. 

Arrange the prepared cannelloni, seam-side down, in a single layer in the baking dish.

Spoon the remaining 2 cups tomato sauce evenly over the cannelloni. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup grated Parmesan over top.

Bake the cannelloni for 20 minutes and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve the cannelloni with extra tomato sauce from the baking dish and garnish with fresh basil.


Please visit my Recipe Index for more soups and lots of different ideas to cook with/for your family!   Here are a few different things:


 

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