This was the first time I’ve ever made Cannelloni before. I found this recipe in the book “365 Dish a Day: A recipe for each of the 365 days in a year” and it sounded easy enough. The noodles I bought said they were oven ready and did not need to be boiled, so I skipped that step. Because the noodles were still hard, when I poured the sauce over them I heard some of them crack which resulted in some of the noodles being split open once they cooked. But they still tasted good so it wasn’t a disaster. There was also a note saying that you could substitute Parmesan Cheese instead of the Pecorino cheese, and since I had no idea what kind of cheese that was, that is what I did. But I don’t really like Parmesan cheese so I will either find the mystery cheese next time, or just go without. As for the ham, I might try cutting it into strips instead of dicing it because you couldn’t really taste much ham.
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp. shredded fresh basil (I used dried basil)
1 lb. 12 oz. canned chopped tomatoes (I used two cans of diced tomatoes)
1 tbsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper
12 oz. cannelloni tubes
butter, for greasing
generous 1 cup ricotta cheese
4 oz. cooked ham, diced
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. Heat the oil in large heavy-bottom skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until onion is softened. Add basil, tomatoes with their juices, and tomato paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 mins, or until thickened.
Meanwhile, bring a large heavy-bottom pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add cannelloni tubes, return to boil, and cook 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Use a slotted spoon, transfer to a large plate and pat dry with paper towels. Grease a large, shallow ovenproof dish with butter.
Mix the ricotta, ham, and egg together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Using a teaspoon, fill the cannelloni tubes with the mixture and place in a single layer in the dish. Pour the tomato sauce over the cannelloni and sprinkle with pecorino cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden. Serve immediately.