Cooking with Lounge | Baked Cannelloni

Cooking with Lounge | Baked Cannelloni

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

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Ingredients

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)

Method

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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