It is well know all over the world that cannelloni can be made in thousands of ways. Fillings are made from meat, fish or vegetables or a mixture. In principle, the filling is wrapped in a small sheet if cooked pasta, then baked with a tomato sauce.
- 25 g (1 oz) dried ceps or 200 g (7 oz) fresh ceps, finely chopped
- 450 g (1 lb) fresh pasta dough
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 1 onion, very finely sliced
- 400 g (14 oz) lean minced beef
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 mozzarella cheese, drained and cut into 8 segments
- 1 quantity tomato sauce
- 75 g (3 oz) freshly grated Parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. If using dried ceps, soak in warm water for 20 minutes, drain and reserve the soaking liquid. Squeeze dry and finely chop. Make the cannelloni. Roll out the pasta dough on a lightly floured surface to make two sheets of pasta, each 25 cm (10 in) square and 3 mm (less than 1/4 in) thick. Cut each sheet into four squares and lay on a clean tea towel. Cook the pasta for 4 minutes, adding the squares one by one to plenty of boiling water containing the tablespoon of oil to prevent them sticking. Carefully remove the pasta, using a slotted spoon, and pat dry on a clean tea towel. Make the filling. Heat the butter and fry the onion until soft. Add the beef and ceps and fry until the beef is browned. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste and set aside to cool slightly. Stir the egg yolk and parsley into the filling mixture and mix together well. Divide the filling between the pasta squares, spooning it down the middle of each piece. Place a mozzarella segment on top of the filling and roll the pasta squares round the filling to make cannelloni tubes. Place 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce in the base of a large ovenproof dish. Lay the cannelloni, side by side, over the sauce and cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake for around 20 minutes until golden. You can use dried cannelloni which are ready to be filled but, if you do, allow extra cooking time (see packet for instructions). Many people like to use a white sauce with cheese added to cover the cannelloni before baking, but I find this a little rich so I have not included it here. But if you like, top with a sauce.