Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mini Cannelloni... April Is that you?!

Happy April!  I’m happy to report, there were no MAJOR April Fool’s jokes in my neck of the woods, except perhaps the weather.  As on the morning of April 1st, we awoke to SNOW.  …I know right!?!?!  EEEEK.  This after just the day before we were walking up and down the aisles in numerous garden centers, planning our soon to be refreshed front yard.  Granted, it was “only” a dusting… but still… white stuff- on ground - friggin’ cold. BOOO.   Enough of my rant, I mean, at least it turned sunny, the “white dusting” is since gone, and though it’s still chilly… at least it’s not snowy.  ANNNNNDD, it’s April 3rd, 3 days closer to May, how does that saying go… April Shower’s Bring May Flowers…. Sooo come on FLOWERS… warm sun…patio parties, annnnd…. Boating Season. **sigh**  Back to reality and Whats for Dinner this week: 

Mini Cannelloni's.. mmmmmm YUM

Cannelloni, one of my all time favorite dinners.  Pasta tubes stuff full of meat and cheese, tomato sauce drowning the pasta and a thick ooey-gooey layer of even more cheese melted perfectly on top. (what’s not to love?!)  BUT, with the approaching warmer months, I really need to stay focused on “lightening up” if you know what I mean.  SO, I went to work using my top ingredient of late…Wonton Wrappers, and just using LESS of everything I typically would of loaded into those delicious round tubes typical of the full version of Cannelloni I love to much.   In my opinion only, these puppies are packed full of flavor, are perfect paired with a light salad or you could even serve them solo as light appetizers. However you decide to make these… just make them will ya?
Mini Cannelloni

  • 1 package (1 lb) Johnsonville sausage ground meat (HOT)

  • 2 cups Chopped Spinach

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced

  • ½ cup Ricotta Cheese

  • Wonton Wrappers (18-20)

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 1 Cup Tomato Sauce
-          Cook sausage in large frying pan until no longer pink, medium-high heat. 
-          Add chopped spinach , garlic to meat and stir frequently until spinach is wilted
-          Place meat mixture into a medium bowl, add in ricotta cheese and mix well.  Taste – add salt if needed.(per taste)
-          Turn oven on, and preheat to 400F
    Placing wonton wrapper on counter, add a spoonful of mixture to middle of wrapper
-      Gently roll Wonton Wrapper, tucking in any filling that tries to seep out. 

-      Place seam side down on a non-stick baking sheet or silpat
-      Continue with remaining wonton wrappers, and filling, placing each cannelloni on baking sheet close together, but not touching.

-     Brush tops lightly with olive oil
-     Bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are crispy and golden, and centers are puffed up
-     Remove from oven and plate, drizzling sauce over top.  – Enjoy!!
** These are great to make ahead.  Just make the filling, roll, and freeze on a cookie sheet, once completely frozen, put mini cannelloni’s in a freezer bag.  Increase baking time accordingly if cooking from frozen.

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