Salsa di Pomodori (Tomato Sauce)
- 4 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
- 4 Cups Italian Plum Tomatoes - Coarsely Chopped (Not Drained)
- 6 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 2 Tbs Finely Cut Fresh Basil, or 2 Tsp Dried Basil
- 2 Tsp Sugar
- 1 Tsp Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Using a 2 or 3-quart enameled or stainless steel saucepan, heat the olive oil until a light haze forms over it. Add the onions and cook them over moderate heat for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are soft but not browned. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, sugar, salt and a few grindings of pepper. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer, with the pan partially covered, for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Press the sauce through a fine sieve (or a food mill) into a bowl or pan. Taste for seasoning.
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
- 1 Tsp Finely Chopped Garlic
- 1 10-oz Pckg Frozen Chopped Spinach - Defrosted, Squeezed Dry and Chopped Again (or 3/4 pound fresh spinach cooked, drained and chopped)
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 1 lb Ground Veal
- 5 Tbs Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Tbs Heavy Cream
- 2 Eggs - Lightly Beaten
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic, and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, for 7 or 8 minutes until they are soft but not brown. Stir in the spinach and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 or 4 minutes. When all of the moisture has boiled away and the spinach sticks lightly to the pan, transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet and lightly brown the ground meat, stirring constantly to break up any lumps. Add the meat to the onion-spinach mixture along with 5 tablespoons of grated Parmesean, 2 tablespoons of cream, the eggs and oregano. With a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together, gently but thoroughly. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter or moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour. Pour in the milk and cream all at once, whisking constantly until the flour is partially dissolved. Then return pan to high heat and cook, stirring constantly with the whisk. When the sauce comes to a boil and is smooth, reduce the heat. Simmer, still stirring, for 2 or 3 minutes longer, or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the wires of the whisk heavily. Remove sauce from the heat, and season with salt and white pepper.
Assembling and Baking the Cannelloni:
Pour a film of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a shallow 9x13” bake-and-serve pan. Prepare pasta tubes according to package directions. Drain and cool. Fill the tubes with 2 to 3 Tablespoons of prepared filling. Lay the cannelloni side by side in one layer on the tomato sauce. Pour the besciamella over it and spoon the rest of the tomato sauce on top. Scatter in 4 tablespoons of grated cheese and dot with 2 tablespoons of butter.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the cannelloni uncovered in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Slide the baking dish under a hot broiler for 30 seconds to brown the top. Serve the cannelloni directly from the baking dish.