Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni

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Italians are world famous for their pasta dishes. And this Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni recipe is an example of classic Italian pasta at its finest!

Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni Public Domain

Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni Recipe-

Ingredients:

(serves 6)

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1-1/4 lb. lean ground meat (combined pork, veal and beef)
  • 24 cannelloni shells (or manicotti shells, will work also)
  • 1-1/2 lb. ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated, good quality, aged Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 32 oz. canned Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine, plus more full leaves of fresh basil for garnish
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium flame in a large, deep skillet.
  3. Add in half of the minced garlic and the chopped onion, and sauté for about 5-6 minutes, until translucent and fragrant.
  4. Now move the onion to the outsides of the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, add in the ground meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned – about 15 minutes should do it. Remove from the burner and set aside to cool.
  5. Cook the pasta for about 6 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water – this will stop it from cooking any further. Spread the cooked pasta shells on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and allow to cool. When cooled enough to handle, splice the pasta tubes open lengthwise.
  6. Combine the eggs, ricotta, parsley, 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Next, fold the combined ground meat into the mixture.
  7. Use a blender or food processor to puree the tomatoes in until smooth. In a medium-sized skillet over medium flame, cook the rest of the minced garlic in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft – about 2 minutes should do it.
  8. Add and stir in the pureed tomatoes, the chopped basil, and the remaining 1/4 cup Asiago cheese; simmer for 5 – 6 minutes. Spread half the sauce onto the bottom of a sturdy, slightly walled baking sheet.
  9. Stuff the pasta shells with the meat-and-cheese mixture, about 3 tablespoons in each, and fold the shell outside edges over the filling. Overlap the edges enough to encase the filling. Place the cannelloni, seam side down, on the sauce; top with the remaining tomato sauce and some slices of mozzarella. Bake for 25 minutes.
  10. Serve your Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni while nice and hot, garnished with some fresh basil leaves.

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