One evening in New York, I tasted an amazing vegetarian cannelloni dish.
It was rich with mushrooms, cheeses and a delicate but decadent sauce. I hadn't had good cannelloni since, but I thought often about the flavors from that evening and the texture of the dish.
I wanted to make something similar that both Mr. K and I could enjoy. He insists on a good meal including meat, as so many men do, so I worked up my first cannelloni recipe hoping to at least come near of gracing the experience I had that night in the West Village.
So, I present to you -
Tipsy Sausage and Mushroom Cannelloni
Named from this dish's contents, and possibly my state of mind while cooking it.
Let's start with the things you need:
- sausage, I used Italian
- onion, finely chopped
- mushrooms, cut in bits
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- cannelloni pasta shells
- parmesan cheese
- red wine
- minced garlic
- diced tomatoes, I used Hunt's canned with basil, garlic and oregano
DISCLAIMER - If you happen to have read one of my recipes that grew out of experimentation before, you know that often I do not measure all of my ingredients. So, just throw it all in and it will turn out great.
Here we go then!
Heads up, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Start with your filling. You are going to need a pretty large skillet, not going to lie. Start by warming olive oil over medium heat. Throw in your finely chopped onion. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add in your mushrooms. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Now - add your red wine. Let simmer and begin adding spices. A little more pepper. A little oregano. Throw in about a tablespoon of minced garlic.
Let all that magic simmer.
Time for the good stuff. Add your sausage, and cook until brown. Set this heaven stuff aside, off heat.
It's time to whip up a little béchamel sauce. Melt your butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Add flour and whisk together well, until the sauce is smooth. Slowly, add your milk and continue whisking. Whisk away until the mixture comes to a slow boil and starts to thicken. Set aside.
Mix half of the béchamel into your filling. Keep the other half of your sauce for topping your dish before baking. Add some shredded mozzarella to your filling and continue stirring. Add your two egg yolks. Just keep stirring, just keep stirring... until everything is well combined. Set aside.
Cook your pasta shells according to the package. You want your pasta al dente, as it can be easy to break your shells while filling them. Rinse under cold water after cooking.
Oil your baking dish and lightly coat the bottom of your dish with some of your remaining béchamel. Using a spoon, fill each of your cannelloni shells. No shame in using your fingers. Place each piece of cannelloni in your sauced dish, laying them close to each other. Top with remaining béchamel, diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and oregano - yes, in that order.
Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand.
Hope you guys love it!
Somewhere cooking up my next creation.
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