Sunday, June 10, 2012


We've made our own pasta in the past (say that 72 times quickly...) with pretty good results, mostly for ravioli if that's relevant, so we had no reservations lining up for this challenge. We certainly thought it worth while to get a slightly different pasta recipe under our belts if nothing else, but as always expect more tidbits will join our kitchen knowledge from the overall experience.

Off to the store for a very easy gathering process - everything in one place, no decisions to be made other than trying to figure out what tomato puree really meant when no cans in the store (or other stores we found out on later normal weekly grocery runs) are labeled as such. We're pretty sure the ones called tomato sauce are a match.

Cannelloni di Carne

Egg Pasta

Not exactly sure what we did here, but we ended up making two batches because we only got 5 sheets out of the first batch and 6 from the second. The first batch was very wet and needed extra flour to make it look like what we've seen before on our previous pasta making exploits.

Hindsight strongly suggests that we probably got the flour measuring incorrect first time around (but the security camera failed and we can't roll back the tape...) because even with the extra flour we had just a small batch. It did roll out nicely - apart from the bit where we misfed it through the roller... But that was easily and quickly mended

The second time around the dough appeared to come together as expected - woo hoo. But, it actually was a little dry causing troubles getting it rolled out. It did eventually end up looking mostly like the first batch of sheets, but there may have been some cursing by one of the parties involved.

Béchamel Sauce

Actually no shopping required for this part - just open the pantry and reach in...

We've made various versions of this over the years with varying degrees of failuresuccess. This one came together as advertised. And, not a lump to be seen. The hot milk must be the secret? We'll dig this recipe out next time and ignore any others provided...

Meat Filling

Nothing complicated. Open the wine and pour a couple of glasses for the chefs - we felt like drinking a Riesling during the cooking process, so Riesling helped us out in the cooking part too.

Follow the directions.

The only small (ok, medium) boo boo we made, and we didn't know we'd made until the assembly part of the process was that we used all the béchamel sauce here and didn't save any. When measured out it was so close to the amount asked (assuming that you use the correct measuring cup - it seems we used our 2 cup measure thinking it was 1 cup which is a bit of an odd thing to do and a lot silly...), we just used the left over bit in the pot figuring it could do no harm. It didn't, but technically it ended up in the wrong place. Oh well...

Good thing our 2 batches of pasta ended up with more sheets than the recipe called for. This created a lot of filling (and we don't think it was all because of the béchamel), so much that we had left overs for lunch the next day (sans pasta).

Tomato Sauce

So easy, you get to make it at the same time as the Meat Filling...

Bring it all together...

We were perhaps a bit more cautious than we needed to be, only putting two sheets of pasta into the water at a time. As there was no great rush, apparently, to get everything assembled, arranged, covered and in the oven this seemed the right thing to do. Not a single sheet was damaged...

We did, however, not even go close to putting 1/8 of the mixture per sheet. Even if we had have gone 1/11 to match our number of sheets we would've ended up more pizza like as there was no chance they would ever close up. As it turns out, we probably could have made another of our 5 / 6 piece batch of pasta and still had left overs (again, we're not completely blaming the béchamel incident of '12).

They rolled up nicely enough (with the 'correct' amount of filling), stuck together nicely enough to get them into the dish (with the tomato sauce already on the bottom) and as luck would have it, the perfect width to go from edge to edge. It could be argued we squeezed one too many into the dish, but the volume of arguing would vary as to whether it was just you eating on the couch, or having friends at the dining table.

Cover them up with the last of the tomato sauce and the last of the béchamel sauce and into the oven. Back to the front of the TV, open our official dinner wine, and wait patiently. We actually hate our broiler, so just left them in the oven a few extra minutes but seeing we didn't have the white sauce to brown up we doubt any harm was done.


The decision to squeeze in that last one made it a little hard to get them out as there was some over / under squishing that had occurred and bound a couple together in ways not intended by their makers. No harm done to taste, nor pre-serving presentation but a little bit mixed up coming out of the pan.

Recipes & Destructions Instructions


The whole process took a bit longer than expected, but the result was worth the effort. Not a put together after work type meal for us, but one we could do again on the weekend and one we could certainly serve up for friends (with less squeezing in of the last one...)

We reached in to our cellar and grabbed up a bottle of something Italian. Although not specifically recommended to pair with a Pasta Dish, Grimaldi Barbera D'Alba was the winner. And a fine winner it was..

Yummy (and easier to get out of the pan) leftovers too! Not hard to argue the filling was a good leftover, but the whole package a much better one.


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!