Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Paulie's Cannelloni

Paulie's Cannelloni
     My grandmother made ravioli and gnocchi. My mother, the former and stuffed shells.  Myself, I decided to add Cannelloni to the family practice.  The art of making homemade pasta into something besides a long noodle is a skill that takes practice.  I remember the first time I attempted to make ravioli from scratch.  My sizes differed completely.  No one ravioli was the same size, shape, or composition as the next one.  It takes practice and patience to get it perfect each time.  Hell, it took me a while to perfect the noodle practice and I can now do that in a matter of minutes.

    So I decided to give a shot at making another type of stuffed pasta; Cannelloni.  I was literally just sitting on my couch and came up with this great idea of an Italian sausage, ricotta, and spinach stuffed cannelloni with some sort of creamy but briny sauce. Since my mom's ravioli are famous enough to be called Betty's ravioli, and yes people request them, and since this cannelloni cannot be called something traditional with my family, I have named them Paulie's Cannelloni. I have cousins who call me that. So here they are: Paulie's Cannelloni


Homemade Pasta found here (http://www.recipesiliveby.blogspot.com/2013/04/Fresh-Pasta.html)
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 bunch fresh baby spinach
16 oz ricotta
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup red wine
1 clove garlic
1 quart homemade marinara
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup diced green olive
Parmesan cheese

     First make your homemade pasta. I used the exact same recipe from this blog for making homemade noodles.  Instead of cutting them I rolled them into sheets using the same pasta machine.  I then cut each sheet into about a 4-5 inch width square of pasta.  Cook pasta just for about 5 minutes, drain, and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and lay flat on a baking sheet.  I placed them in the freezer for about 15 minutes just so they cooled off and didn't curl up.

     Meanwhile in a large skillet brown the Italian sausage.  Add in diced garlic, oregano, and red wine.  Cook until the wine has reduced.  Toss in the spinach, a bunch at a time, and cook until it has wilted down.  Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.  Once cooled mix in the ricotta until you have a nice cheesy mixture for the cannelloni. 

     In a separate sauce pan or sauté pan pour in your choice of marinara.  Dice up some green olives and toss in and stir in the cup of heavy cream. Simmer over low to medium heat. 

     Now for the fun part, take one individual square of pasta and lay it down on your counter.  Next take a spoon and scoop some of the sausage/ricotta mixture into the center. Fold over one side and then the other on top until you have a little tube of stuffed pasta.


    Next take a ladle and spread some of the tomato olive sauce in a baking dish.  Take the stuffed pasta and gently lay it in the baking dish seam side down.  Continue until you have filled up the dish.  The recipe made 15 individual pasta squares for me.

     Top with a little more sauce and some fresh parmesan cheese.  Cover with tinfoil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. These were sooooo good I was shocked at how well they turned out.  The spicy sausage/ricotta/spinach center. The tangy but creamy sauce and of course the bite from the fresh pasta.  These were delicious. You can do them anyway you like.  Stuff them with something else.  The possibilities are infinite.  Please enjoy Paulie's Cannelloni.

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