Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Baked pasta

So here goes, the promised pasta that has a higher fuss factor for those who just need it to feel that the time spent in kitchen was a time well spent :).
I was inspired by Lisa's baked manicotti, but as usually I couldn't stick with the recipe, didn't have all the ingredients and just had to mess around with it. So I ended up with baked cannelloni.

Baked cannelloni (├╝lek├╝psetatud cannelloni pasta):

1 can peeled chopped tomatoes or strained tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small clove garlic
a small bunch of fresh curly parsley
1 medium carrot
some dry oregano and thyme
black pepper

10 - 12 dry cannelloni shells
1 pack of creamed cheese (Philadelphia for example)
grated Parmesan (so that you'll have a generous handful)
a small bunch of fresh curly parsley
1 can of corn
2 eggs
salt and pepper

First prepare the sauce.
Peel and very thinly grate the carrot (or put it in the food processor).
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat.
Cook the garlic and after about 5 minutes add the chopped tomatoes, grated carrot and the oregano and thyme.
While you're cooking the sauce also boil the pasta shells for about 4 minutes and then set them aside (rinse them with cold water after straining to stop cooking).
Cook, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Stir in thinly chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Now prepare the pasta:

Heat the oven to 180 C.
In a bowl, combine the creamed cheese, corn and chopped parsley. Beat in the eggs and mix in about 2/3 of your parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon some of the filling into each cannelloni shell. Don't stuff them too tightly, I filled mine to about half of their capacity. Otherwise you'll end up with a dish that is kind of off balance in terms of the filling / pasta ratio.

Put 1/2 of the tomato sauce on the bottom of an oven tin or a lasagna tin.
Transfer stuffed manicotti to the dish, you'll probably have two rows.
Spread the remaining sauce over the pasta shells and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.
Bake for 20 minutes.

It was my first baked and also my first pasta with a filling and I was very happy. My mongrel version will probably make any true Italian cuisine fan's stomach turn, but it worked very well for me as I'm still trying to avoid large quantities of onion and garlic. Also I was thinking that my version is probably a bit easier to eat compared to when it's just filled with cheese. But i promise to try the right version as well.


lisaiscooking said...

Your baked pasta looks fantastic! I like the idea of adding corn to the cheese mixture. Sounds delicious. And, thanks for the mention!

Sophie said...

Your baked pasta looks incredible & is so vegetarian! I love it! Yummie!