Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower Cannelloni

sea salt
1 pound broccoli, washed, florets and stalks chopped
1 pound romanesco or white cauliflower, washed, florets and stalks chopped
Olive oil
7 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 (1-ounce) can best-quality anchovies in oil, drained and chopped, oil reserved
2 to 3 small dried chiles, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups tomato sauce
red wine vinegar
2 cups creme fraiche
7 ounces parmesan, finely grated
16 cannelloni tubes
1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
7 ounces mozzarella cheese
extra virgin olive oil
4 large handsful arugula leaves, washed and dried
1 lemon

Preparing the baked broccoli and cauliflower canneloni:
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 a couple of good glugs of olive oil and add the garlic. Fry for a few seconds, then add the thyme leaves, anchovies, anchovy oil and chiles and continue frying for a few seconds more before adding the cooked broccoli and cauliflower with around 4 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water. Stir everything together, put a lid on the pan leaving a little gap, and cook slowly for 15 to 20 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, taste the vegetables and season carefully with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet to cool. Meanwhile, get another baking dish or roasting pan (the right size for fitting the cannelloni tubes snugly side by side and pour in the tomato sauce with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of red wine vinegar.

Mix the creme fraiche with half of the parmesan, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a little of the reserved cooking water to thin it down.

Spoon your cooled broccoli and cauliflower mixture 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, or use a teaspoon to push the mixture into the cannelloni or use a piping bag. Fill the tubes and place them in a single layer on top of the sauce. Lay the basil leaves over the cannelloni and spoon your white sauce evenly over the top. Season with black pepper, sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and tear over the mozzarella. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling on top.

Serve with a salad of arugula leaves with a squeeze of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

Serves 4 to 6


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