Who can resist cannelloni filled with mushrooms and ricotta and smeared in a creamy béchamel sauce?
- 580 gm ricotta, drained
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 100 gm parmesan, finely grated
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 spring onions (white part only), thinly sliced
- 300 gm Swiss brown mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 250 gm large flat mushrooms (such as field), coarsely chopped
- 6 sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 30 gm dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 200ml warm water for 10 minutes, drained and soaking liquid reserved
- To serve: green salad (optional)
- 225 gm (1½ cup) plain flour
- 80 gm (½ cup) coarse semolina
- 2 eggs
- For drizzling: olive oil
- 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour
- 550 ml warm milk
- 20 gm (¼ cup) finely grated parmesan
- Pinch of finely grated nutmeg, or to taste
- 1For 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.
- 2Preheat 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.
- 3Heat 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.
- 4For 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.
- 5Spoon 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.
Drink Suggestion: Italian red such as nebbiolo. Drink suggestion by Max Allen