Monday, February 4, 2013
Recipe of the week………..Bacon, Spinach and Feta Cannelloni with Basil Pesto Sauce
Hello to all,
This is such a strange recipe because it involves so many little details to it, yet it doesn’t feel like a difficult dish to make, and it tastes absolutely amazing, the best part of it all is the fact that people will know you made it yourself and will be able to taste the difference in the homemade pasta, homemade basil sauce, homemade stuffing, mine goes a little further and is topped with homemade cheese and in the picture here complete with homemade ciabatta all made in my kitchen at St Francis Links by myself.
I don’t expect you to go all the way with making everything yourself as it is time consuming, but I will make this recipe as user friendly as possible, but please try the “harder” version by doing everything yourself
Prep Time: 2 Hours
Cooking Time: 1 ½ Hours
Pasta Ingredients: (now this is where you can just buy the store bought cannelloni shells)
300g Stone Ground White Bread Flour
3 Extra Large Eggs
1 ½ tsp additive free salt
1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Combine all the ingredients together, this is quite a stiff pasta dough and if you would like you could add 2 TBSP of cold water to make it knead easier. Now knead the pasta dough on a lightly floured work surface for about 5 minutes until it is smooth, wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge to rest for 1 hour.
Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe: (now here you could buy a store bought béchamel/cheese/or white sauce and add basil pesto)
1 sprig of thyme
1 cardamom pod
1 small onion
60g stone ground cake flour or white bread flour
100g basil pesto
Place the milk, clove, onion, thyme and cardamom in a saucepan on a low heat and leave it to infuse the flavours for about an hour, then in a separate saucepan melt the butter and add the flour and stir this for about 2 minutes, you will see the flour starting to go a little whiter than before, this is when you need to take it off the heat and strain in about 250ml of the hot milk and whisk it in until all smooth, then whisk in another 250ml, then return back to the heat and whisk in the remaining 500ml only when you are sure that there are no lumps left after the first 2 additions of hot milk.
Now add in the basil pesto and check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Bacon, Spinach & feta stuffing Ingredients:
150g Plain Feta Cubed
2 Bunches spinach, thoroughly rinse and chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
100ml white wine
2 tomatoes cubed
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
2 sprigs oregano chopped
Oil for frying
2 onions diced
Fry off the bacon and onions for about 2 minutes then add in the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes, deglaze with the white wine and add in the rest of the ingredients except the feta cheese, let this simmer for about 5 minutes until most of the liquid has reduce away, then take this out of the pan and put it in a baking dish and leave it to cool to room temperature, then mix in the feta.
The Grand Finale
Now to make the cannelloni, you need to start by rolling out the pasta for the cannelloni, you-u can do this with a pasta machine or you can take you pasta dough ball and cut it into 4 equal parts then roll it in a long strip about 10cm wide and as long as it will go. Then do this with the second piece as well, but it will be pretty thick still so to get it thinner, take a paint brush and brush the one side of one piece with olive oil, place the second piece on top of that and carry on rolling out, you will be able to get it a lot thinner without the fear of it tearing. Now you can separate them again and you will have 2 nice thin stips, you need to cut this into squares not about 10cmx10cm, then place 3 TBSP of the Bacon mixture onto this and make sure it covers the length of the pasta then roll it up like a mat, this is so much easier than buying those shells and trying to stuff them with the filling
Now take the oven proof dish that you are going to be making the cannelloni in and pout a little of the basil sauce on the bottom, then arrange the cannelloni on top on that, then another layer, I like them to be 2 layers high, them cover them with the rest of the basil sauce and some grated parmesan cheese, bake in a pre-heated oven at 180˚c for 40minutes until there is a nice golden crust.
Bon Appetit Enjoy.
P.S you the stuffing’s you can play with as much as you like and the same goes with the sauce, gone are the days of the imagination only thinking spinach & ricotta cannelloni, try seafood with a saffron sauce, cape Malay mince with a Moroccan style apricot sauce etc