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Kate's Cannelloni Al Forno W/ Marinara and Parmesan Cream Sauce

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“This is similar to Olive Garden's Cannelloni al Forno, which unfortunately has been taken off their menu. This version is better because their cannelloni is mass-produced in a factory, frozen, packaged, and sent to each restaurant. Then reheated in the microwave which dries out the pasta. What a terrible thing to do to cannelloni!”
READY IN:
3hrs 45mins
SERVES:
12
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. MARINARA SAUCE: In a large pot. Sauté onion until caramelized. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, sugar, basil, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer sauce for 2 to 3 hours, the longer cooking time the better, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Stir in parsley and turn off heat. This Marinara Sauce recipe can be substituted for 8-9 cups of jarred marinara sauce.
  2. MEAT FILLING: In a large skillet, sauté red onion, celery, and carrot in olive oil on medium heat until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add beef and sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink. Drain liquid and grease. Add wine and reduce for 1 minute. Stir in beef broth. Add Italian seasoning, bay leaf, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover, and reduce until almost dry. Discard bay leaf. Set aside to cool.
  3. PARSLEY SAUCE: Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in flour for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and nutmeg. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in parsley and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
  4. Transfer the cooled Meat Filling to a large bowl. Mix in the Parsley Sauce. Set aside to cool.
  5. PASTA: Note: I used 2 (8 ounce each) boxes of Ronzoni Manicotti Pasta, which are 14 pieces (14 pasta tubes) per box. I usually fill only 21 pasta tubes, but I cook all 28 just in case. Cook cannelloni noodles according to package directions until al dente. Make sure to thoroughly salt the water before adding pasta to prevent sticking. After draining pasta, drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Transfer to a large piece of parchment paper. Spread pasta in one layer not touching each other to prevent sticking.
  6. Place 1/3 of the cooled meat and parsley sauce into a food processor. Pulse or blend until a smooth texture is achieved, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining mixture until all filling ingredients are processed. Transfer meat mixture to a large bowl. Mix in 2 egg yolks.
  7. PARMESAN CREAM SAUCE: Melt the butter in a double boiler or a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water over medium low heat. Whisk in flour for 2 minutes. Whisk in heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  8. ASSEMBLY: Cover bottom of large baking dish with 1/4" Marinara Sauce. Spoon filling into a cannelloni noodle with a small spoon. Place the cannelloni into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining cannelloni, arranging in a single layer. Ladle the remaining Marinara Sauce on one side of the cannelloni, leaving the other half of each tube without sauce. Spread the Parmesan Cream Sauce on the other half of the cannelloni.
  9. TOPPING: Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 375F degrees for 45 minutes, or until bubbling.

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