One of my favorite meals in Italy was the cannelloni. We had our first taste of it in Barcelona and it’s a delicate shell of egg pasta usually filled with a meat and cheese filling or just cheese. If you ask my husband he’ll tell you it’s the Italian version of an enchilada. These take a little work if you make your own pasta and they are really delicate so you have to take your time stuffing them and rolling them. It pays off at the end though because you’re left with a light and flavorful bite of heaven. The recipe calls for veal, but I decided to use all ground beef instead. If anything I encourage you to make the sauce and use onto of spaghetti.

(Adapted from The Ultimate Pasta Machine Cookbook)

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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely minced yellow onion
8 ounces ground lean beef
4 ounces ground lean veal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups tomato sauce or tomato cream sauce
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

In a large skillet heat the butter over medium heat.

Add the onions. Saute until the onion is transparent. Stir frequently so the onion does not brown.

Add the ground beef and veal. Cook, stirring frequently, just until the meat loses its pink color.

Transfer the meat mixture to a blender or food processor bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Blend with an on/off motion just until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling along the long edge of each cannelloni shell, 1/2 inch from the ends.

Roll up jelly-roll fashion. (You can also place the pasta on a towel to make it easier to roll and keep it from tearing.)

Place with the seam side down on the prepared baking dish.

Cover with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Cannelloni Pasta
(Adapted from The Ultimate Pasta Machine Cookbook)

3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten with
1 large egg yolk (reserve the egg white)
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

All ingredients must be at room temperature. Place the liquid ingredients in a glass measuring cup. If less than 3/4 cup, add some of the reserved egg white to make up the balance.

Add the dry ingredient to the pasta machine mixing bowl. Switch the pasta machine on. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients through the feed tube.

Mix for approximately 3 minutes, or until the dough appears to be coming together in soft pea-sized crumbs.

Using the lasagna extruder die, extrude the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth so that the dough does not dry out. Continue with remaining dough. With a sharp knife cut pasta in 5×4 inch rectangles. Cover with a clean cloth and let rest for 30 minutes before boiling.

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