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Honeycomb Cannelloni

Well I am ready for winter to be over! Just when things were starting to melt they go and get cold and snowy again. With that being said I am not sick of winter food yet. We had our Cookbook Club get together this past weekend and the dish I made was so yummy and fun that I had to share it here right away. The presentation is awesome and if you have a dinner party coming up I highly recommend this dish as it serves quite a few plus the name Honeycomb Canneloni just sounds so good!

All in all this dish was pretty easy to make considering it is canneloni and usually you have to stuff each noodle individually, in this case you do not. With the red sauce you can do any variation really. You could make a meat sauce or even a couple jars of yummy store bought sauce would work. This version was a vegetarian version and was chalk full of a variety of veggies that really came together in flavour. It has mushrooms in it but I even had the mushroom haters loving this dish. Feel free to play with this dish and make it to your liking. The only thing I would recommend it to use the right size of pan to cook it in.

Mom-O-Meter: 4 out of 5
There are a lot of ingredients in the following recipe but you can adapt it to your tastes and time restraints. It truly it delicious and chalk full of goodness!

Honeycomb Cannelloni
Adapted slightly from Jamie Oliver


Red Sauce
a small handful of dried porcini mushrooms (I used the whole small bag they came in)
a few tablespoons of olive oil
3 carrots, finely diced
4 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large red onion, finely diced
1 leek, white and light green parts finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 Portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
5 x 14oz cans good quality plum tomatoes (if using whole pulse lightly in the blender before adding to the sauce)
a large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped

spinach layer
1 1/2 lb fresh spinach
whole nutmeg

white sauce
1 cup light cream
17 1/2 fl oz crème fraiche (I used 500ml)
4 good quality anchovies in oil, drained and finely chopped (I could not find any so I omitted them)
a handful of grated Parmesan cheese (I used about a cup)

to assemble
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1lb 2oz cannelloni tubes (I used 2 and a half packages of 250g pasta)
olive oil
a casserole pan that it approximately 8 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep (I used a dutch oven, in which the presentation looked lovely but it looks like Jamie used a metal pot)

Place the dried porcini in a bowl just cover them with boiling water. Leave them to soak for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, carrots, celery, onion and leek. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the portobello mushrooms. Add the porcini, reserving the liquid, to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Strain the porcini liquid and add this to the pot with about a half cup of water. Allow the liduid to reduce slightly, then add the tomatoes and the basil stalks. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for roughly 45 minutes Jamie says that he has a thick ragu, after an hour my sauce was still quite liquidy but it did not seem to matter in the end as the noodles absorb the liquid. Tear in the basil leaves.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a saucepan, heat a splash of olive oil and add the spinach, stir, then leave to wilt down. Season with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Put aside.

To make the white sauce mix the cream, crème fraiche, anchovies (if using) and grated parmesan cheese. Adjust seasoning to taste.

To assemble, get the casserole pan out and spoon in some of the white sauce so that it measures about half an inch. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and top with the spinach. Ladle in half of the red sauce and stand your cannelloni tubes in it. Press the tubes down gently with the palm of your hand, the sauce should come up and half fill the tubes. Spoon over the rest of the red sauce, smoothing it down into the tubes (not all of my tubes were filled to the top). Pour over the remaining white sauce, sprinkle over more grated parmesan, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes until golden and bubbly. Enjoy!

  1. Claudette
    March 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Oh so yummy! Hardy fare that’s such a pretty pasta presentation with the nouveau vertical visuals brimming over with cheesy, saucy goodness. De-e-e-e-e-e-licious!

  1. May 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm

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