Since Easter is just two weeks away, I thought I would share with you, the out-of-this-world Italian crepe cannelloni. The first time I tried cannelloni made this way was at my mother-in-laws’ for one of my first Easter family gatherings here.
These are so easy yet so amazing. After I tried them for the first time I could understand how my brother-in-law ate 30 of them.
These are not your regular pasta dough cannelloni, but more of a crepe cannelloni. Strange but believe me, it totally works. It may take a little time, but it is so easy to make and put together. You may have a couple of extra pots to wash, but in the end it will be worth it.
To start off, today I am doing the meat sauce cannelloni and Thursday the white sauce/cheese kind. My family prefers the cheese ones, but you can try half and half to see which ones you prefer. So let the cooking begin and as always, buon appetito!
Crepe Cannelloni (meat sauce)
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 grams
- 2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour 360 grams
- 3 cups water 685 grams
- 1 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese 100 grams
- 1 cup fontal cheese 125 grams, cubed small, used in the white cannelloni
- 3/4 -1 cup fresh mozzarella 185 grams, cubed small
for the meat sauce
- 1/2 pound ground beef 250 grams
- 1 teaspoon oregano 1/2 gram
- 1 teaspoon basil 1/2 gram
- 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 grams
- 1 clove large of garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil 27 grams
- 2 3/4 cups tomato puree 506 grams
- 2 cups water 450 grams
Before you start making the crepes, I think it is best to start your sauce, so in a small pot with water break up the ground beef and place in pot, bring to a boil and let boil for about 5 minutes, drain, set aside. In a medium pot add all the rest of the ingredients, stirring to combine and then add the cooked ground beef, combine well, bring to a boil and lower heat and simmer till thickens ( half covered) approximately 30 - 45 minutes.
In a large bowl with a whisk beat the eggs and water, approximately 1 minute, add the salt and the flour 1 cup at a time and continue to beat till smooth.
In a small frying pan or crepe pan, (I lightly greased the pan once with a brush) using a 1/4 cup ladle (or 1/4 cup) on low to medium heat, pour the crepe mixture in the pan, using the bottom of the ladle to spread the mixture (or a spoon) but don't make them too large or too small. (in the picture the plate is 7 inches (18 centimeters). Crepes cook quite quickly, so watch carefully, approximately 20 seconds on each side, they should be cooked but not browned. When cooked move to a separate plate, continue till all are cooked.
Once sauce has thickened remove from heat. From the sauce, using a slotted spoon remove 2-3 spoonfuls (or as necessary) of the ground beef from the sauce.
On a wooden board or small plate, place 1 crepe at a time, in the middle of the crepe add 1-2 teaspoons (dessert spoon) of meat, 3-4 cubes of mozzarella and 1-2 teaspoons (dessert spoon) of grated parmesan cheese. Roll up the crepe.
In a medium to large baking pan, spread a ladle or a little more if needed of sauce on the bottom of the pan, add the crepes to the pan till pan is full (the can be touching), cover with remaining sauce, top with some cubes of mozzarella and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350° (180°) oven for approximately 25 minutes.
Recipe Notes*This recipe makes approximately 25 crepes (maybe more maybe less depending on how big you make your crepes, remember not too thick).
I am assuming that you will make half meat sauce and half cheese cannelloni, if you do all meat or all cheese, then double the ingredients for the filling.