Who can resist cannelloni filled with mushrooms and ricotta and
smeared in a creamy béchamel sauce?
580 gmricotta, drained2eggs, lightly beaten100 gmparmesan, finely grated60 ml(¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling4garlic cloves, thinly sliced3spring onions (white part only), thinly sliced300 gmSwiss brown mushrooms, coarsely chopped250 gmlarge flat mushrooms (such as field), coarsely chopped6sage leaves, thinly sliced1 tspthyme leaves30 gmdried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 200ml warm water for 10 minutes, drained and soaking liquid reservedTo serve:green salad (optional)Pasta dough225 gm(1½ cup) plain flour80 gm(½ cup) coarse semolina2eggsFor drizzling:olive oilBéchamel sauce100 gmbutter, coarsely chopped50 gm(1/3 cup) plain flour550 mlwarm milk20 gm(¼ cup) finely grated parmesanPinchof finely grated nutmeg, or to taste
For pasta dough, pulse flour and semolina in a food processor until combined. With motor running, add eggs, then gradually add 20ml iced water and process until mixture just comes together. Remove dough, knead until smooth (5-7 minutes), wrap in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature (1 hour). Divide pasta into four, then, using a pasta machine with rollers at widest setting and working with one piece at a time, feed dough through rollers. Fold dough in half lengthways, then feed through rollers again, continuing until smooth, reducing settings notch by notch until pasta is translucent and 2mm-thick, set aside on a lightly floured tray. Cut pasta into ten 12cm x 15cm pieces. (Remaining pasta can be frozen in an airtight container separated by baking paper or hung and air-dried, then stored in an airtight container.) Cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water over high heat until al dente (1 minute), drain and refresh, drizzle with a little oil, set aside.
Preheat oven to 180C. Press ricotta through a fine sieve into a large bowl, then combine with eggs and 75gm parmesan, season to taste and set aside.
Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add garlic and spring onion, sauté until starting to soften (2-3 minutes). Add mushrooms and herbs, sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Add porcini and soaking liquid, simmer until liquid has reduced (7-10 minutes), season to taste, set aside.
For béchamel, heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foaming (1-2 minutes), add flour and stir until mixture is light brown in colour (2-3 minutes). Whisk in warm milk, a little at a time, and stir until beginning to bubble (2-3 minutes), remove from heat, add parmesan, season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg, set aside.
Spoon ricotta into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm-plain nozzle, pipe across the middle of each piece of pasta, top with mushrooms and roll to enclose. Arrange cannelloni in a 25cm x 35cm buttered baking dish. Spoon béchamel on top, scatter with remaining parmesan and bake until golden and warmed through (30-40 minutes). Serve with a green salad, if desired.