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Cannelloni filled with vegetables

Here’s a fancifull and light version of cannelloni, the main course made of filled fresh pasta that is never missing on special Sunday’s dinner. The lovely thing about them is that you don’t have to prepare the painstaking bèchamel sauce because I’m giving you a simpler version…

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Fresh Lasagna sheets 8

(I prepared a fresh pasta without eggs using:
100 g (3,52 oz) all purpose flour
100 g (3,53 oz) of durum wheat flour
Warm water about 100 ml (3,53 fl oz)
a pinch of salt
a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil)

a large eggplant (aubergine)
2 zucchini (courgettes)
a yellow pepper
a red pepper
5 tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1/2 a bunch of fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
50 grams (1,76 oz) of grated cheese (parmesan or grana padano)
salt and pepper according to your taste

If you are preparing fresh pasta: Put both flour on a work surface or in a large bowl, mix the flours and make a well. Pour in the middle half of the water, oil and salt and begin to knead from the center. Continue to knead gradually adding more water until all flour is combined. Continue to work the dough with your hands, roll it out on the work surface and then fold it, roll out again then refold and so on for about ten minutes, until you get a smooth and firm dough. Cover the dough and let it sit for half an hour. After this time, take the dough, knead it a little, then cut it into pieces and with the aid of a rolling pin (or a pasta machine) roll it out into thin sheets and place on surface well-floured with all purpose flour (or tipo 00 flour). Cover the pasta sheets and set aside for another hour.

Place the peppers under a very hot grill and let them blacken and blister on all sides. When still hot, put them in a bowl and cover with cling film and leave to cool.

Meanwhile wash your courgettes and slice them lengthways about 0.5 cm (0,20 inches) thick. Grill the courgette on a griddle pan for about a minute on each side or until nicely charred (pic 1).
Transfer to a clean tea towel in one layer, making sure they don’t sit on top of each other, otherwise they will steam and go soggy.
Cut the eggplant (aubergine) lengthways into 1 cm (0,39 inches) thick slices. Place them on the griddle pan right away, to prevent from turning black and take a bitter taste. Chargrill the slices turning them several times until nicely marked (2), then transfer to the tea towel.
When peppers are cool enough to handle, carefully rub off the black skin and remove the stalk and seeds from the inside, then tear them up into large strips.

Now put all vegetables into a large bowl, season with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside.

Bring to the boil enough salted water, add a drop of oil, when the water is at rolling boil, add the pasta sheets one at a time and blanch them, remove them as soon as they bob up, less than a minute, and place on a clean tea towel in one layer, making sure they don’t sit on top of each other otherwise they will stick together.

In another saucepan bring enough water to a boil to blanch tomatoes, skin them and then cut them into quarters. Puree the tomatoes in the food processor with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a clove of garlic, basil leaves and salt.

Take the pasta sheets, place on a work surface and put 2 or 3 slices of each grilled vegetables along one of the longer edges of each pasta sheet (3) and roll up to make cannellini. Put them in an oven dish dot with 1/2 of the tomatoes sauce (4),

 

spread with the remaining tomatoes sauce (5) and cover the pan with foil and bake in preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil, sprinkle with grated cheese (5), drizzled with a little olive oil and cook for another 10 minutes (6).