baked cauliflower and broccoli cannelloni

it has been a while since i cooked but it didn’t mean i haven’t kept my eyes open on recipes i want to try! here’s a recipe from jamie oliver that i thought sounded interesting and tonight was the night to make it.

i changed the recipe a little ot suit my taste and to lighten the dish. i used part skim ricotta cheese instead creme fraiche. i also reduced the amount of parm and mozzaarella cheese in the recipe since i used ricotta cheese. also, i added an additional coating of tomato sauce on top because i like a lot of sauce. finally, i did not add salt to the recipe at all. depending on the anchovies or capers and tomato sauce you use, there is more than enough salt and more important – there’s more than enough flavor in the recipe that you just don’t need to add any more salt!

with peppery greens and some bread, the result is a tasty and healthy meal. the only danger is overeating. so carve out a serving and package the leftovers so you don’t over do it. yes, it is THAT good!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound broccoli, washed, florets and stalks chopped
  • 1/2 pound romanesco or white cauliflower, washed, florets and stalks chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 (1-ounce) can anchovies in oil, drained and chopped, oil reserved  – or –
    1 ounce capers, liquid reserved
  • 1 to 2 small dried chiles, crumbled – or –
    1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups good-quality tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 cup creme fraiche – or –
    1 cup skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 ounces Parmesan finely grated, divided
  • 7 cannelloni tubes
  • 7 fresh basil leaves, 1 leaf per cannelloni tube
  • 3 ounces good-quality mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large handfuls arugula leaves, washed and dried
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and drop in the chopped broccoli and cauliflower. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes, until cooked, then drain in a colander, reserving the cooking water.

Heat a wide saucepan, pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the garlic. Fry for a few seconds, then add the thyme leaves, anchovies, anchovy oil and chiles. To make this vegetarian, use capers and capers liquid instead of anchovy and anchovy oil.

Continue frying for a few seconds more before adding the cooked broccoli and cauliflower with around 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water. Stir everything together, put a lid on the pan leaving a little gap, and cook slowly for around 10 minutes, stirring regularly – overcooking the vegetables not only intensies their flavor but gives you the texture that you need for this recipe. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes to let the moisture evaporate, then use a potato masher to crush the vegetables. Take the saucepan off the heat and set aside to cool.

On a baking dish or roasting pan (the right size for fitting the cannelloni tubes snugly side by side and pour in 1 cup of tomato sauce.

Now, to make a really quick and easy white sauce, mix the creme fraiche or ricotta cheese with half the Parmesan, and a little of the reserved cooking water to thin it down.

Spoon your cooled broccoli and cauliflower mixture. You can put it into a large sandwich bag and cut off the corner. Twist the top of the bag and squeeze it to pipe the filling into the cannelloni tubes. If you prefer, use a teaspoon to push the mixture into the cannelloni or use a piping bag.) Fill the tubes up – don’t be stingy! – and place them in a single layer on top of the layer of tomato sauce.

Lay a basil leaf over each cannelloni and spoon your white sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan and tear over the mozzarella. Top with remainder of the tomato sauce and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling on top.

Dress the arugula leaves with a squeeze of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

Serve the cannelloni with the arugula and some good crusty bread or herbed foccacia.

________________________________________________________________________________
original recipe from Jamie at Home: Incredible Baked Cauliflower and Broccoli Cannelloni

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