Three Cheese Silverbeet Cannelloni

11:39 pm on 24 August 2009

Raid your garden to make this ultimate dinner dish – you’ll be very pleased you made the effort.

It has everything going for it – the three yummy cheese combo, the silken textures of the béchamel sauce, sweet tomatoes, comforting pasta and bacon and you can prepare this ahead of time, freeze it and be the ultimate host.

Look at it like three very simple steps rolled into one.

Leave bacon out for vegetarian option

Ingredients

Bechamel Sauce

  • 75g butter
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 2 tblsp plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • a pinch nutmeg
  • 50g shredded mozzarella

Tomato sauce

  • olive oil for saute
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tblsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tblsp tomato paste
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 handful of basil leaves
  • seasoning to taste

Filling:

  • 250g cooked silver beet
  • 70g ricotta
  • 70g crumbled feta
  • 100g chopped bacon (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 packet fresh lasagne sheets

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 C. Warm milk in microwave for 1 minute on high. Heat the butter gently, add the garlic. Add the flour, stirring all the time, then the milk. Stir until the béchamel sauce thickens. Add the spice and mozzarella. Remove garlic and season.

To make the tomato sauce, heat some olive oil, add the onion. Then add the parsley fry gently until soft. Then add the tomatoes. Stir in the basil and, simmer for 10 minutes.

For the filling, mix the spinach, the cheese and the bacon with the egg and the Parmesan. Season and cool. Lay out lasange sheets, trim to the width of the baking dish and cut into six portions. Divide filling into six. Spoon each portion onto the lasange squares, roll into tubes and place in a buttered baking dish. Spoon over the béchamel sauce, then add a layer of the tomato sauce on top. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.

Suggested wines to complement this recipe

It's a mouth filling creamy dish so what it needs is mouth filling chardonnay.

The Montana O 2006 - Gisborne - is old school chardonnay. Big, corn meal and coconut flavours. Rich and fully flavoured. A real mouthful of wine. $35.

And from a newer vineyard - Paritua in Hawkes Bay. Their 2008 Chardonnay (about $30) has all the winemakers' tricks on the nose - yeast and cream and orchard fruits - but a more restrained palate. Some classy French oak adds weight but without it being all woody and hard.

And Paritua's little brother / sister wine - for the "value" option - Stone Paddock 2008. A very classy seamless mouth feel and under $20!!

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