sexta-feira, 14 de novembro de 2008

baked cauliflower and broccoli cannelloni

As the days get colder, and when it starts to get dark at four in the afternoon, my cravings for pasta and baked dishes flourish. This dish is very easy to make, but it leaves the impression that you spent a big chunk of the day cooking. Here's why: the pasta does not have to pre-cook. It cooks itself in the sauce, making the pasta absorb all the flavors; and the white sauce is a great shortcut I learned by mixing creme fraiche (or sour cream) with parmesan cheese. The addition of anchovies gives the dish a layer of flavor that does not resemble in any way the taste of fish, but it gives that salty bite on the tongue that you can't quite tell what it really is. 
A good idea is to make the cannelloni in two separate baking dishes so you can have leftovers. 

Baked Cauliflower and Broccoli Cannelloni:

  • 1 pound broccoli, florets and stalks, chopped
  • 1 pound romanesco or white cauliflower, florets and stalks, chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 (1 once) can anchovies in olive oil, drained and chopped
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes with juices
  • 2 cups creme fraiche, or sour cream
  • 7 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 15 cannelloni tubes
  • 1 small bunch basil, leaves picked
  • 7 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
 To make the tomato sauce, chop two garlic cloves and add them to a medium sauce pan, and fry the garlic to a golden brown color in olive oil. Add the canned tomatoes with juices, salt and pepper to taste, and cook the tomatoes, covered,  in very low heat for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and drop in the chopped broccoli and cauliflower. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes, until cooked, then drain and reserve a cup of cooking water. 

Heat a wide saucepan, pour olive oil to coat the pan and add the garlic. Fry for a few seconds, then add the thyme, anchovies, and chilies and continue frying for a few seconds before adding the cooked broccoli and cauliflower with 4 Tbsp cooking water. Stir everything together, put the lid on the pan, and cook for 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes to let the moisture evaporate, then use a potato masher to crush the vegetables until it becomes a coarse pure (see third photo). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the the mixture on a baking sheet to cool. 

Get yourself another baking dish and pour in the tomato sauce. To make the white sauce, mix the creme fraiche with half the parmesan, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and some of the vegetable cooking liquid to thin it down.

Spoon your cooled broccoli and cauliflower mixture into a pastry bag or sandwich bag and cut off the corner. Squeeze the mixture into the cannelloni tubes, making sure the tubes are completely filled. Place them in a single layer on top of the tomato sauce. Lay the basil leaves over the tubes and spoon the white sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and tear over the mozzarella, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling on top. Serves 4 to 6.

4 comentários:

  1. Hi Vinny,
    I love it~you're bookmarked! Can't wait to try the pasta dish. Gorgeous pictures! I love your enthusiasm for food & flavor. xo, Holly

  2. All of your food sounds fantastic!!

  3. Howdy, from the west coast. I made this for Thanksgiving as the main course. It's a very rich dish considering the dairy, not for everyday I'd say. It was delicious served with a salad and garlic bread. I was tempted to put in the whole 2 ounce can of anchovies, and glad I didn't. One ounce is perfect, more would have been, "HELLO ANCHOVIES!" I plan to attempt a variation of this without as much dairy soon--a lot of tomato sauce.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I want that recipe in Portuguese, please!!! Send to mail e-mail!!!!