Friday, August 14, 2009

Comfort - Italian Style

Nothing says comfort food to me like a bowl of pasta in whatever form - whether it is good old Spaghetti Bolognaise, a delicious Lasagne or one of my faves, the beautiful rolled pasta dish - Cannelloni. Usually I make a vegetarian Cannelloni but I decided to try something a bit different this time - inspired by some fantastic spicy Italian sausages that I had in the fridge. The result was a really lovely flavoursome dish that also made plenty of leftovers to freeze. I have not included a recipe for the tomato sauce on the top. I figure we all have our own version of Nepolitana sauce, so use your own version or a good quality bought one. The pasta I used was fresh flat lasagne sheets which you will find easily in the fridge section at the supermarket. I didn't want the filling to be too heavy but wanted plenty of flavour, so I have added Ricotta and plenty of vegetables to the mix. This dish will serve 8 people.

Italian Sausage Cannelloni with Ricotta

You will need: 6 Italian/Continental style sausages, 1 pack fresh lasagne sheets (cut each sheet into 3 pieces), 2 cups Ricotta cheese, 1 bunch English spinach chopped finely, 2 cups sliced mushrooms, Half a teaspoon dried chilli flakes, Splash of olive oil, 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons chopped capers, 1 tablespoon chopped black olives, salt and pepper, 3 cups Nepolitana sauce, 1 cup grated Mozzerella cheese, 2 tablespoons continental parsley.
Method: Split the sausages lengthwise and squeeze out the filling. Disgard the sausage skins. Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and cook the sausage meat until it starts to brown. Break it up with a spoon as you go so it looks like minced meat. Add the chilli, capers, olives and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the spinach and stir it through until it wilts. Turn off the heat and set the mixture aside.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan and then the sausage mixture. Mix it really well and season generously. I find using my hands is the best way to ensure a good thorough mix.
Take the filling and lay a spoonful along the length of the pasta and roll it up to form the Cannelloni. Lay in them a baking pan (I line the pan with baking paper to make cleaning up easier later on) Continue until you have used all of the mixture.
Top with the Nepolitana sauce and bake for about 40 minutes in a hot oven. Remove the Cannelloin from the oven and top with the cheese. Return it to the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Top with freshly chopped parsley and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Im hungry now,,,looks great,,,,thanks for the post.