Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mom's Cannelloni

Warm, hearty, and filling. Don't be daunted by the long list of ingredients or the part about making the crepes. I was a little the first time I made it but it was sooo easy! It now takes me (almost) no time to whip this up. And if I don't have the time to make the crepes sometimes I make a "Mom's Cannelloni Casserole" (recipe to follow).


My mother-in-law makes this amazing cannelloni, which is my husband's FAVORITE meal. Last time he deployed this is what he requested as his homecoming meal. My mother-in-law got this recipe from a friend and has been making it since 1977. The "noodles" are actually crepes! (Don't run out to the store and buy a fancy crepe pan, any small non-stick pan will do!)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 2/3 cups milk
1 tbsp. oil

1 lb. ground beef (I make it with ground turkey breast)
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1, 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (I make it with chopped, cooked fresh spinach)
3 Oz liver pate (sometimes this is hard to find, recently I've been using cream cheese instead, which obviously tastes nothing like liver pate but it has a similar consistency and binds everything together)
1/2 C parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
nutmeg, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1/4 c. grated Swiss cheese
dash nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
8oz tomato sauce (I've been using tinned crushed San Marzano tomatoes, I like the fresh and less salty taste)
grated parmesan cheese
Prepare crepes by blending all ingredients in bowl: Pour scant 1/4 cup of batter into crepe pan-turn out onto clean dish towel to cool. Makes 12 crepes
Brown ground beef or turkey. Drain if necessary. Add remaining filling ingredients. Place scant 1/4 cup in each crepe. Roll and place in lightly greased baking dishes (13 x 9).
Cream sauce: Prepare as basic bechamel sauce, adding wine and cheese last. Pour over crepes to cover well---this makes a lot of sauce and you may not need it all.
Top with a wide ribbon of tomato sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake 350 or 25-30 minutes until bubbly.


Sometimes I crave the cannelloni but don't have time to make the crepes. I just boil up a package of Rotini or Penne pasta. Combine it with the ground beef or turkey "filling." Pour into a buttered baking dish and top with bechamel sauce, the ribbon of tomato sauce, parmesan and bake!

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1 comment:

Sharon said...

mmmmmmmmmmm:) I remember when you made it for me - did I ever tell you the story? I had been wanting an advent wreath to do with the kids but didnt have the energy to get it together after losing Joshua, a friend of my mom sent me one in the mail, then I wanted to do a nice dinner so we could read the Christmas story and light it but again did not have the energy to make it - then you brought cannelloni over, and that was the night jesse told me he didnt have to deploy - he said he wanted to tell me a special way but didnt have time to do something special so when we sat down to an amazing dinner from you and ate it by the light of our advent wreath candle he knew it was the perfect time and i will always remember that night:) im going to make that casserole soon!!!