Saturday, September 5, 2015

When you Can't Cannelloni you have to Manicotti

After searching all of the major stores in town for some cannelloni pasta to make this dish, slave took to Google! It is truly amazing how many people can not agree what it is, much less where to buy it! So for our purposes slave decided to use manicotti. It was believed that cannelloni was simply larger tubes of pasta than manicotti. This makes it easier to stuff with meat mixtures before baking. Master suggested using lasagna sheets and rolling them up! This is also recommended, however slave is a bit stubborn, so lets see how we can make this easier for you!

Master was reminiscing about the last time He enjoyed Cannelloni. He described it as elegant with fantastic flavor inside and a very light sauce on top. So slave decided to try the same.

This dish uses two different stuffings for the pasta. You can choose either or make both. Have a “Partito italiano” in your mouth!

½ lbs hot Italian Turkey sausage (split off the casing and cook loose)
5 oz cream cheese (chives & onion)spread
½ cup shrimp cocktail sauce
1 cup Ricotta cheese divided
1 8oz. pkg. imitation lobster pieces (or other imitation sea food cut small)(thawed)
2 eggs

manicotti pasta

2Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 can diced tomatoes (with garlic & basil)
¼ milk
2 tsp flour

½ cup of shredded 4 cheese blend (Asiago/fontina/parmesan/provolone)

Set the imitation sea food out to thaw. Or run cold water over the unopened package.
Split open the sausage and scrap insides into skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes. Drain this well on paper towels.

When not quite cold, mix in the cream cheese spread and ricotta until well blended. Set aside.

Mix the ricotta cheese with the cocktail sauce.

In a large bowl, dump the thawed sea food bits. Use a knife to make sure this is broken into small pieces, no larger than ½ inch each. Then Mix in the sauce. Cover and set aside.

While both fillings are blending flavors, start the water to boil for the pasta. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; using a slotted spoon, carefully remove immediately to a bowl filled with ice water.

Lift pasta out of the cold water with slotted spoon and arrange on flat paper towels to drain.

While that is cooking, open the diced tomatoes and drain the liquid into a bowl.(about ¼ cup)

Mince the garlic clove and add to 2 Tbs. olive oil, let sit.

Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Mix the reserved liquid from tomatoes with ½ cup milk and 2 tsp four. (HINT: Use cake flour for a thicker sauce) Stir this until well blended. Heat the ¼ cup of infused oil in a saucepan, mix in the liquid mixture. Stir while this comes to a simmer ( about 1 -2 minutes. This will thicken into a creamy sauce, mix in the diced tomatoes. Spoon 2 tbls into the bottom of the baking dish. Set the rest aside.

Now to assemble. Stir into each filling mixture one egg yolk until well blended. This will hold it all together.

Take one tube and stand it on end in the bowl of stuffing. With a fork or spoon dish in the stuffing, shoving with your finger so that it fills up. Yes this does get messy!
Place the filled tube into the baking dish. Continue until the dish is filled with the manicotti. (half with each mixture). Slave stacked the lobster ones side-wise and the sausage ones lengthwise so that they could be told apart.
Ladle the sauce over the top and sprinkle with the cheese blend.

Bake, uncovered, in a 425° oven until sauce bubbles and pasta are hot in the center, 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Use a wide spatula to transfer two rolls to each plate, spooning sauce around portions.

Serve immediately on warmed plates, accompanied by some grated Parmesan cheese and a side salad.

Please remember if you are ordering this in an Italian restaurant: These are cannelloni not cannoli. Cannelloni is a tubular pasta dish, cannoli is the unique and delicious Sicilian pastry dessert! Slave remembers the difference as cannelloni is four syllables (longer - more to eat) and cannoli is only 3 syllables -smaller desert)

What a wonderful way to serve my Master by serving others when the chance appears.

Music today: Two of the greatest stars of the 20th century!

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

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