I know this looks like lasagna, but I assure you, it’s Canneloni. As you’ll recall, I love stuffing things. Poultry, vegetables and pasta are my favourites. And because I haven’t stuffed anything (other than my face) in the last few weeks, I thought it’s about time. I don’t like stuffing Canneloni with a bolognese type sauce, as I feel that really makes it too similar to lasagna and you might as well save yourself the time and do it that way.
So I decided on doing another vegetarian meal and used my beloved butternut & Feta. So off I went roasting the butternut, mashing it with feta cheese and loads of flavourings and spread the passata at the bottom of the baking dish. And then came the stuffing part. Now unlike stuffing poultry or vegetables, stuffing canneloni is a bit harder. The last time I did it, the piping bag burst and I had to do it by hand…not an easy task. This time I made sure tha lumps weren’t too big for the opening of the bag and I carefully scooped all the filling in and got the canneloni ready. I snipped the end of the piping bag off and then all hell broke loose. Filling was flying everywhere, I was yelling for my brother to come help and WITH his help we managed to fill the Canneloni’s without TOO much mess. Our dialogue was very much like this:
Me : “Come on! Faster, get the canneloni’s faster”
Him: “I’m going as fast as I can, stop squeezing the bag!”
Me: “I’m NOT squeezing the bag, the filling has a mind of it’s own!”
Him: “Shooosh I’m trying to concentrate”
The dog: Licking up all the filling on the floor!
Needless to say, my tummy hasn’t hurt that much from laughing in a long while and I’m very thankful for the little vacuum cleaner of a dog we have! The canneloni’s were put in the oven with a delicious layer of Bechamel over them and they were DELICIOUS! Really something I’ll try again, maybe next time I’ll just try to get more control over my left hand… the one that holds the piping bag!
2 Large butternuts, halved and seeds removed
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 rounds Feta cheese, crumbled
250 ml (8.45 fluid ounces) Double cream
1/2 tsp Finely chopped Rosemary
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Passata/ Tomato Puree
About 5 canneloni tubes per person
2 cups Bechamel/Cheese sauce ( I make mine without a recipe, just a few tbsn butter, flour and I slowly add the milk until I have the right consistency, I like when it’s thick enough to be able to draw a ‘ribbon’ on the surface with the sauce)
1 cup Grated Cheese
- Place the butternut on a roasting tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with some salt. Add some water to the tray and cover with foil. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour until the butternut is soft. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large pan, fry the onions and garlic until very soft and translucent.
- In a bowl, combine the feta cheese, cream, honey, herbs and lemon juice and add the onions. Mix together. Add the cooled butternut and mash together.
- Pour the passata into another baking dish, big enough to hold all the canneloni.
- Fill the canneloni with the butternut mixture and place side by side ontop of the passata.
- Pour over the bechamel sauce and spread to cover all the canneloni’s. Top with grated cheese and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes (200°C (392 degrees Fahrenheit)) until the canneloni are soft and the cheese has gone golden and crispy. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
The twins enjoying mommy’s canneloniAlida Ryder