Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cannelloni stuffed with ricotta cheese and zucchini

Here I am again, it's been a long time, right? ... First of all, I wish to thank you all for your encouragement mails and for the patience you showed by continuing following this blog despite my long absence. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!
Let's restart with a tradictional Italian cuisine speciality, the fresh filled pasta, in other words cannelloni.
Cannelloni represent a tradictional Italian recipe and are prepared throughout the peninsula, there are various types of filling, it varies from region to region.
Thanks to its delicate and savoury flavour children love this dish... and adult as well!
Today I propose you cannelloni stuffed with ricotta and zucchini...

Serves 4


For the egg pasta (if you are using ready to use cannelloni, count up to 3 per serving)
- Durum wheat flour 200 g (7,05 ounces)
- Eggs 2
- A pinch of salt

For the stuffing

- Ricotta cheese 250 g (8,81 oz)
- Grated parmesan cheese 80 g (3 oz)
- Egg 1
- Small zucchini 2
- Nutmeg as required
- Extra virgin olive oil as required
- a pinch of salt
- pepper to taste

For tomato sauce and to cook them

- butter as required
- Fresh tomatoes 500 g (17,54 oz)
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
- 1 onion
- a pinch of salt

Prepare the fresh egg pasta: Put the flour on a pastry board and make a well, then break the eggs in the middle and put a pinch of salt. Strongly knead the mixture by mashing it well with the palm of the hands. Clue and let stand for half hour. After this time, roll it out, using a pasta machine, until you obtain a thin pasta sheet, about 2 mm (1/8 inch), by making multiple passes. You'll have to start from a larger thickness going down to the needed thickness. If you do not have a pasta machine you can roll the egg pasta using a rolling pin on a floured pastry board.

Cut the obtained pasta sheet into 12x10cm (4x5 inches) rectangles (photo 1), sear 3-4 of them at a time in a pot with boiling salt water, take them out as soon as they bob up (photo 2), lay them out on a dishcloth and allow to dry.
Prepare the filling: Soften the ricotta cheese in a bowl, then add the egg, the Parmesan cheese, a generous sprinkling of nutmeg, salt and pepper (photo 4) and mix well.
Put the sliced zucchini in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and let them cook (photo 3).

When cooked, leave them to cool and add them to the ricotta cheese (photo 5).
Take the pasta rectangles and place on the long side of each two tablespoons of filling. Roll them starting from the side on which the filling is placed, so as to obtain the cannelloni (photo 6) and place them in a buttered pan.
Add on their surface a few pats of butter (photo 7). Then bake in preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for about 6-8 minutes;
Meanwhile sautè the finely chopped onion in a pan with some olive oil (photo 8), add the fresh tomatoes, salt and cook for about ten minutes (photo 9).

Serve the cannelloni with fresh tomato sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese (photo 10).

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