For a while now I have had these stupid cannelloni tubes in my pantry that I have postponed using. For the last 3 years any time I’ve attempted to make cannelloni I have been disappointed. Either the pasta overcooks in the oven or the complete opposite occurs and I end up with underdone pasta. Both situations have bothered me to no end but I hate having food in my pantry for too long so the time has come again to try to conquer that cannelloni.
Being true to my nature I have chosen to create a new recipe and see if I come out a genius or a failure…..no pressure on myself. Don’t ask me how I came up with the idea but I decided to stuff raw italian sausage meat into an uncooked cannelloni (essentially turning the pasta into a sausage casing). I then snuggled the filled cannelloni into an 8 x 8 baking dish filled with homemade tomato sauce. I topped the works with a ricotta and egg mixture, cut up chives and grated cheese for melting. I covered the dish with aluminum foil and baked it at 350F for 45 minutes, afterwards I removed the foil and baked another 15 minutes.
I should point out that at no point did I boil the pasta before baking nor was it of the ‘no boiling required’ variety. I wanted to see if with enough liquid in my dish and a longer cooking time, if it was possible to omit the boiling step completely.
To my relief it was an incredible success (a relief for my boyfriend as well…not always easy being the food guinea pig). The homemade sauce had enough moisture in it to cook the pasta. With the long cooking time the excess water evaporated giving the sauce a final result of tasting like roasted tomatoes. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the sausage inside cooked through and moist. Every bite had a satisfying layer of creamy gooey cheese laced with chive bits and that beautiful sausage pasta coated in tomato sauce.
Thanks to this positive experience, I will be looking forward to cooking cannelloni. My old problem has now been replaced with how to keep my pantry stocked with cannelloni tubes, not a bad problem to have.