Thursday, 14 June 2012

Daring Cooks' June 2012: Cannelloni

It's Daring Cooks' time again...

Manu from Manu's Menu was our Daring Cooks lovely June hostess and has challenged us to make traditional Italian cannelloni from scratch. We were taught how to make the pasta, filling, and sauces shared with us from her own and her family's treasured recipes!

I have to confess my heart sank a little when I saw what this month's challenge was. Cannelloni are usually smothered in creamy white sauce, topped with bubbling golden cheese and many of the filling options feature ricotta or soft cheeses. I made my sad face. I may have even stomped about the house a little, having a grump to myself, that I was going to have to miss out all the bits that make cannelloni delicious.
Lacking the bubbling cheese on top, but ticking all the other boxes!
I toyed with not participating - but you know, I'm a sucker for a challenge and not one to admit defeat, so after borrowing a pasta machine from a friend (Thanks other Mrs E!) I got stuck in. It was my first shot of a pasta machine, and lots of fun! Kind of like playing with play-dough when you used to get all the extruder attachments. Before we return it, I'm hoping to get a chance to let Mini-M turn the handle and help make some linguine.
5 years at uni and an Engineering masters wasted - Pasta machine set up back to front!
My strips of dough waiting to be cut. A bit wiggly, but nice and thin - not too bad for a first attempt.
I went for a mushroom filling, flavoured with tarragon and brandy. Confession time - I used a jar of pasta sauce!!!! Unintentionally, I might add. The dough was resting, the filling was made and it was time to make the tomato sauce - at which point I discovered the carton in the cupboard that I thought was chopped tomatoes was actually coconut cream, and the tin which I thought was tinned tomatoes was beans. Dolmio to the rescue - with Mini-M's return from nursery on the horizon, time was of the essence, and since I had a jar of tomato sauce that seemed like a better plan than an impromptu supermarket dash!
Ready to roll...
Pretend the sauce is home made ;o)

Instead of a béchamel made with butter and milk, I used olive oil for the roux base, then oat milk in place of regular milk. Oat milk can sometimes taste ever so slightly porridgy (not really surprising), but it easily overcome by adding a flavour, so I opted to mix in some wholegrain mustard.
Ready for the oven


  1. It actually does sound very good. Especially the mushroom filling. I've made manicotti using soy milk for the crepes and bechamel sauce, so I know they can be just as delicious.

  2. Wow, well done. Your pasta looks so wonderfully thin!

  3. Great job adapting this one! It is neat to see how everyone makes it fit their dietary needs.

  4. Oh my gosh, I am SO impressed with how you adapted this recipe to meet the dietary needs of your house. SUPER impressive. And the finished product looks amazing! Great work!

  5. mmmmmm cannelloni, you need to say no more!!

  6. Loving that mushroom filling. Your olive oil-oatmeal sauce looks awesome, I wouldn't know it was not normal bechamel just by looking at it. Great job!

  7. What a fabulous outcome for all of your adaptations. Great job!

  8. Your pasta looks great! I bet you buy yourself a pasta maker very soon!

  9. I love the idea of a mushroom filling and I think you did a great job making this healthier
    Great jon on this challenge

  10. Your cannelloni look amazing! I love mushroom filling. :)



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