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Cauliflower Cannelloni 25May09

Cauliflower Cannelloni

Cauliflower cannelloni doesn’t exactly sound very exciting, but believe me, it’s delicious. Great way to squeeze in your veggies as well! I saw this dish on one of Jamie Oliver’s shows… I cannot seem to find the recipe online so I’m not quite sure how accurate I am. I got the main parts of it down but I may have added a bit more here and a little less there. It all came out great anyway!

The shredded Parmesan cheese on the top with the mozzarella made the entire house smell like pizza. I loved the added crunchy texture the toasted cheese adds to the ooey gooey sauce. You almost forget that you’re eating cauliflower! The filling is actually cauliflower, broccoli and broccoflower boiled and then cooked down with olive oil, chilies and anchovies. You can make it without anchovies for a vegetarian option.

I have another cannelloni recipe that’s a bit more low fat but hey we’ve got visitors in town and Vini’s been begging me to make this for a while. Low fat will have to wait! I’ll post that recipe at a later date. In the meantime, hope you like this one!

Ingredients:
1/2 head of cauliflower (about 2 cups of florets)
1/2 head of broccoflower (about 2 cups of florets)
1/2 head of broccoli (about 2 cups of florets)
1/2 tablespoon of crushed red chili flakes
5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3-4 anchovies
15 cannelloni shells, dry straight from the box
3 cups of tomato sauce (tomato puree is fine)
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 + 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of cream
1 large ball of mozzarella
10 fresh basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Step 1: The filling!
In a large pot, bring about half a pot worth of water to boil. Toss in the florets to the boiling water and cook until soft – about 5-8 minutes depending on the size of them. Drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat up about 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once heated toss in the garlic, anchovies and red chili flakes. Let those flavors cook for a little bit and reduce the heat to medium low. Add in the florets and let that cook for about 15 minutes. Add a little fresh ground pepper and pinch of sea salt while you stir occasionally. The florets start to crumble and the olive oil soaks into them. They should break down on their own but if they’re still really chunky, break them up with a spoon. Once they’re done and everything is cooked to a paste consistency, turn off the heat and set a side.

Step 2: The sauces!
In a large bowl mix together the 3 cups of tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, dried basil and a couple pinches of sea salt. Pour this into a large baking tray until it covers about 1 inch of the bottom. The pasta will sit nicely 3/4 of the way it but now drown! In another mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese ad 1 cup of cream. Add in some fresh ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt and set aside.

Step 3: Assemble!
Spoon the floret filling into the cannellonis with a teaspoon and place in the baking tray with the tomato sauce. Line them up and fit as many as you can. I had about 15 but I left a little bit of roam around each one, you can definitely try to fit more! Once all the cannellonis are lined up, spoon on top the cream sauce mixture to cover the entire top. There should be enough for a thin layer of cream across the top. Now place the fresh basil leaves on top. And on top of that rip off chunks of the fresh mozerella ball and place them on top. OR you can slice them and just put slices of mozerella across the dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and we’re ready to go! Bake in the oven at 350°F or 180°C for 35 minutes on the middle shelf. The top should be toasty brown and your house will smell like pizza!

Serve with a rocket/arugula salad, glass of wine and get ready for seconds! It’s not the sexiest dish to plate but the taste is definitely worth it! Hope you enjoy it!

Cauliflower Cannelloni

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