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Cooking with Lounge | Baked Cannelloni

Cooking with Lounge | Baked Cannelloni
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First Published: Sun, Aug 14 2011. 09 00 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Aug 14 2011. 09 00 PM IST
David Watson, executive chef, The Westin Gurgaon, prepares a dish brimming with Superfoods, which are ingredients naturally rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients
Baked Cannelloni
Serves 1
3 cannelloni pipes (you can use pasta sheets and roll them up to make pipes)
80g tomato concasse
30g mozzarella, grated
10g Parmesan, grated
30ml bechamel sauce
5ml extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig of basil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the stuffing
500g spinach, blanched and chopped finely
200g ricotta
50g walnut, chopped
25g red onion, chopped finely
20g garlic, chopped finely
60g Parmesan, grated
10g extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the tomato concasse
200g tomato, peeled and chopped
100g tinned tomato
10g garlic, chopped finely
500ml water
30g extra virgin olive oil
Sugar to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
For the bechamel (white sauce)
1 litre full-cream milk
100g butter
100g flour
1/2 onion, medium-sized
3-4 cloves
1 nutmeg, whole (optional)
First, prepare the tomato concasse. Heat oil in a thick-bottom pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Sweat the garlic for about a minute on low heat, ensuring it does not change colour. Put in the tomato. Add some sugar, depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cook for a minute and then add the water.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Once it has cooled, put in a blender to form a smooth sauce. This basic tomato sauce can be used for many dishes.
Next, prepare the stuffing. Heat a pan and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Sweat the garlic and onion in it. When they release an aroma, lower the heat and add spinach. Mix well and take off the heat. When slightly cooled, add the ricotta, Pamesan, walnut, salt and pepper. Mix well together and keep aside.
To make the bechamel, heat milk over medium heat. No need to boil it. Take half an onion and stick the cloves into it. Drop the onion into the milk as it is heating. In the meantime, melt butter in a pan and stir in the flour one spoon at a time. Keep whisking the mixture as you add the flour or lumps might form. Once all the flour has been added, give it a vigorous whisk to make a smooth paste. Now, sieve the milk a little at a time into the flour and keep whisking in between. Take your time over this and don’t rush. It’s crucial to get the right consistency. It should be nice and creamy. For added flavour, you can grate a little nutmeg into the sauce.
To bake the cannelloni, use an oven-proof earthen or ceramic dish or an iron pan. Layer the bottom of the dish or pan with the tomato concasse. Dab a tablespoon of bechamel in the centre. Place a few leaves of basil on the bechamel. Now stuff the cannelloni with the spinach and ricotta stuffing and lay them on the basil side by side. Pour some more tomato concasse around the cannelloni and top up with another tablespoon or two of bechamel. Sprinkle grated mozzarella and Parmesan over it. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven. Take out, drizzle a dash of olive oil and serve with a side of grilled tomato and onion slices.
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First Published: Sun, Aug 14 2011. 09 00 PM IST