Ok, so these pictures don’t do this cannelloni justice – but it was seriously good. I lost light before they were done baking due to an extended lunch with some of my girlfriends (totally worth it), so you’ll have to excuse me for the less than stellar photos. If you could put a little faith in me and trust that it will turn out fabulously and also look amazing, then you’re in for a treat!
These are based off of a dish my Mom made for a dinner party of hers years ago. It was one of the first times she made homemade pasta and everyone RAVED about how it turned out. We can’t be totally sure, but we think the recipe came from an old Cooks Illustrated magazine, but who knows. I’ve taken what I remember of the dish and created my own version of it.
The star of these is the super rich meat filling which is a trinity of pork, veal, and chicken thighs. The meat mixture is cooked up with a little onion, garlic, and butter, and then pulverized in the food processor to become one homogenous mixture. It’s then combined with a handful of grated parmesan cheese and a large ladle of creamy béchamel sauce, wrapped up in handmade pasta and baked with your favorite red sauce and a LOT more béchamel.
Creamy, decadent, and a perfect way to start wrapping up winter.
Sorry this is a long one!!
- 10 ounces ground pork
- 5 ounces chicken thigh (whole or ground)
- 4 ounces veal (scaloppini or ground)
- 1 chicken liver (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch nutmeg
- ½ small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ½ cup béchamel
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups hot milk
- ½ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 batch of homemade pasta
- 2 cups your favorite homemade or store-bought red sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- If your chicken and veal are in the breast form and not ground chop into small pieces.
- Heat one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ground pork, veal, chicken, salt, and nutmeg to the pan. Cook mixture until the meat is all the way cooked through and the veggies are soft.
- Season with salt and pepper. Transfer meat mixture to a food processor and pulse until the meat is finely ground. Again season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Make Béchamel:
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over a medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk flour into butter. Cook for one minute. Reduce heat to low.
- Slowly whisk in hot milk, making sure to not create lumps. Once the milk is incorporated, raise the heat to a medium-high until the sauce begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about five minutes. The sauce should coat the back of a wooden spoon, and when you run your finger down the back the sauce should stay separated.
- Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup parmesan cheese. Set aside until ready to use.
- Separate pasta dough into six different pieces. Slightly flatten.
- Take the pasta through the pasta machine on the widest setting, and then fold the dough over itself into thirds – the width of the pasta should be almost as big as the pasta machine from side to side.
- Take the dough through the machine again, but reduce the setting. Repeat until you get to a four setting.
- Cut pasta sheets into five-inch rectangles.
- Sprinkle with a little flour on both sides and store under a kitchen towel until ready to stuff.
- Spread ½ cup of red sauce in the bottom of a greased 9×12 baking dish.
- Mix meat mixture with 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and ½ cup béchamel sauce.
- Place two heaping tablespoon of the meat filling on the pasta sheet and roll, jelly roll style making a tube shape.
- Place rolled cannelloni in the baking dish making two rows.
- Cover pasta with remaining red sauce, then top with remaining béchamel sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and bake another 15-20 until brown, bubbly and pasta is cooked through.