Cannelloni – Tubes stuffed with a creamy, meaty filling

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Cannelloni means “large tubes” in Italian and are actually the familiar pasta made to look like tubes, which is more or less similar to lasagna in the preparation process.  Yet, the appearance of this dish and the joy of digging the juicy meaty filling oozing out of the tubes is a unique experience indeed!!

You can fill these tubes in any of your favourite vegetarian or non-veg stuffing and bake with lots of cheese tossed on the top. In this dish, I stuffed cannelloni tubes with a mixture of  ground beef and a large assortment of vegetables and served with stir-fried spinach on side to make it a completely healthy and delicious meal.

Make this absolutely mouthwatering dish to make your gloomy winter months much cosier and a bit warmer.

What you need:

  • Napolina Cannelloni tubes – 1 & 1/2 packets
  • Loyd Grossman brand Tomato and Chili sauce – 1 bottle or 1/2 more

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 Ground beef – lean only 5% fat 500 g
Ketchup 2 tbsp
Carrots 3
Spinach a handful
Bell peppers (large) – yellow, red, green 1 each or more
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic (chopped)
Onion 2 large
Cheddar cheese and Mozzarella cheese ( grated)
 Milk  1/4 cup

Let’s make it:

Boill it

  • Boil the cannelloni tubes according to the instructions of the pack.  Drain the water and separate the tubes carefully and set aside.

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Cut it

  • Cut the veggies and place around a plate.

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Saute it

  • In a large wok heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil and sweat the chopped onions.  Add chopped garlic.
  • Add the carrots circles and all the bell peppers.
  • Saute the veggies.

Beef it

  •  Push the veggies to a side and add the ground beef.nfd

Fry it

  • Dry fry the beef, breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon until browned.  This will take about 10 mins.

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Mix it

  • Bring beef and veggies together .
  • Add milk and tomato ketchup.  Simmer.

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Sauce it

  • Add Loyd Grossman tomato and chili sauce and give a thorough stir.

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  • Add salt and pepper to taste and assemble all together.
  • Toss spinach on top and let them wilt.

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Cheese it

  • Toss a hand full of  grated Cheddar cheese with 1 tsp of oregano (optional)
  • Let the pot bubble for a few mins and turn off the flame.

Fill it

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
  • Opt for a wide Pyrex dish or a baking dish and pour a little milk onto the bottom.
  • Hold the cannelloni tubes gently in one hand and fill the beef mixture and arrange on the baking dish side by side.
  • Once the dish is full top it with lots of grated Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese.

Bake it 

  • Cover the dish with a kitchen foil and leave one edge slightly open for steam to escape.
  • Bake for 30 – 40 mins or  the top  turns golden.
  • Take out from the oven and let the dish rest for 5 mins.
  • Meanwhile,  stir fry some spinach and garlic cloves in a little butter and toss a  pinch of brown sugar to enhance the flavour.
  • Serve your beautiful golden cannelloni with spinach stir fry on the side.
  • Bon appetit !!

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Tips :

  • You can add any lasagna white sauce brand in place of milk to make the filling extra creamier but it will feel quite heavy in the tummy .
  • Always use a wide  Pyrex or a ceramic baking dish, not a baking tray used for cakes as the bottom of the tubes can come out hard.
  • Be liberal on spinach and vegetables to make it more healthier.
  • A few drops of oil and salt while boiling the cannelloni tubes can prevent them from sticking.  And do not crowd the pan too much with tubes as they could stick to each other and tear off easily.
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