Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Butternut Squash Cannelloni

Another great month participating in the Dairy Goodness Great Cream Challenge completed! I had such a fun time coming up with my Butternut Squash Cannelloni recipe for the May Stuffed Pasta Challenge, inspired by an old Leftover Lovin' recipe that I made back in 2011. While the Leftover Lovin' recipe was all about using up whatever was left in the fridge and creating a serving for one, my Dairy Goodness challenge recipe amped up the original recipe with a knock-your-socks-off, almost-too-easy-to-be-true creamy white sauce, and a savory and sweet butternut squash filling that keeps you coming back for more! 

Although my Butternut Squash Cannelloni certainly wasn't the most photogenic of dishes (resulting in my sad number of votes), I was so so happy with how the taste turned out! Although I didn't win the challenge this month, I don't see myself as a loser because I came out of this challenge with a new favourite crowd-pleasing dish that I look forward to serving to my family and friends for years to come!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Filling can be made in advance.

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into medium chunks
1 large shallot, quartered
1 garlic clove, pureed 
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 leaves sage, very finely chopped
3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and white pepper to season
1 egg
1 1/2 cups dry pressed cottage cheese
1 cup 5% cream
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and white pepper to season
1-360g package fresh lasagna sheets
olive oil, for drizzling as needed
1 1/2 cups tomato passata (or tomato purée)

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Lightly grease a medium baking sheet and add squash and shallots. Top with garlic and butter and toss to evenly coat. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from oven and cool.
  2. Place squash and shallot mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Add sage, ricotta, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Taste again and season once more if needed. Add the egg and blend to combine. Pour filling in a bowl and set aside*.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, add the dry pressed cottage cheese, cream and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese. Blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Cook pasta sheets for 1-2 minutes in boiling salted water. Remove pasta sheets from water one at a time and place on a baking sheet. To prevent sticking, drizzle each sheet of pasta lightly with olive oil before adding the next one on top.
  5. Preheat oven to 350º. In a medium-large baking dish, pour in a thin layer of the passata and spread evenly with a spoon to cover the dish. 
  6. Cut the pasta sheets down the centre width-wise so you have about 12 rectangles. Working one at a time, place about 1/3 cup butternut squash filling down the length of one side of the rectangle, and gently roll up. Place in the baking dish seam side down and repeat with remaining pasta sheets, placing each rolled cannelloni next to each other.
  7. Spread a layer of tomato passata over the cannelloni so that they are all coated in an even layer. Spoon the white cream sauce in dollops over the passata-topped cannelloni. Bake until heated through for 20-30 minutes. 
  8. Plate and drizzle with remaining cream sauce and serve immediately.

Listening To:
Max Frost - Nice and Slow

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