CANNELLONI (Best of Bridge)
Prepare the Mindless Meat Sauce and chicken filling ahead of time and this will seem effortless. Regardless, the results are worth the time involved. Makes 10 servings.
- Chicken Filling
- 3 large whole chicken breasts, cooked in oven. Reserve 1/2 cup pan juices for filling.
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
- 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. dried basil
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1 cup ricotta or creamed cottage cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Cheddar Sauce
- 4 tbsp. melted butter
- 5 tbsp. flour
- 1 10 oz. can chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup Mindless Meat Sauce (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup light cream
- 1 pkg. Knorr’s Hollandaise sauce or your own recipe
- 600 g Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- 20 large Cannelloni shells or 2 pkgs. Catelli Express Cannelloni shells
- Mindless Meat Sauce
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1/4 tsp sage
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 15 large mushrooms, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 – 28 oz can tomatoes, chopped, with juice
- 1 – 10 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 – 5 1/2 oz can tomato paste
Cook chicken and finely chop or grind meat. Combine oil, onion, celery, carrots and parsley in saucepan and cook for 10 minutes. Beat egg yolks in a large bowl, add Parmesan cheese and ricotta or creamed cottage cheese and beat until smooth. Add oregano, basil, nutmeg and pepper. Add chicken, pan juice, chicken broth, and cooked onions, celery, carrots and parsley. Beat until well mixed. This may be covered and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.
Melt butter in saucepan, add flour until smooth, then carefully add chicken broth, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cheddar cheese until well blended and thick. Add cream. Add prepared Mindless Meat Sauce. Add prepared Hollandaise sauce.
If not using “Express” pasta, cook Cannelloni shells in boiling, salted water for 8 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water. Don’t be concerned if shells split it makes them easier to fill.
Spoon a thin layer of sauce in two 9”x13” pans. Using approximately 2 tbsp. chicken filling per shell, shape filling in hands and insert shell. Place in pans, side by side in two rows. Carefully spoon cheddar sauce around cannelloni. Cover each cannelloni with grated Monterey Jack cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling. Serve at once.
If you’re making the entire recipe in advance, prepare to the baking stage and freeze. (If using the Catelli “Express” Cannelloni noodles, the stuffed cannelloni should be baked first before freezing.)
Mindless Meat Sauce
Preheat oven to 350oC. In large roasting pan, spread ground beef. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to separate. Meanwhile, combine sage, oregano, pepper, onion, mushrooms and garlic in saucepan and cook at medium heat until onions are transparent. Drain off excess fat from meat. Spread onion/mushroom mixture over meat and continue cooking in oven for 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour or longer, Add salt to taste. Store in container and freeze. Use it in any recipe calling for meat sauce, such as spaghetti, lasagna or cannelloni.