Olive Garden style Cannelloni al Forno
The trick to this Olive Garden-style Cannelloni al Forno recipe is processing the ingredients in a blender to achieve the smooth texture this dish is known for. This copycat recipe is spot on in the flavor department too.
Preparation Time3 min
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/3 cup carrot, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pound ground veal
- 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 1/4 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup Parmesean cheese, freshly ground
- Fresh pasta (highly recommended but could use dried cannelloni tubes)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 (16-ounce) jar high quality marinara sauce
- 1/2 pound Fontina cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup Parmesean cheese, grated
- Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet. Add onion, celery, and carrot, and cook over moderate heat until softened.
- Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add veal, pork, and chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink. Drain excess liquid and grease thoroughly.
- Add wine, and reduce for 1 minute. Stir in broth. Add herbs, bay leaf, and salt and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover, and reduce until almost dry. Discard bay leaf. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan set over moderately low heat. Whisk in flour for approximately 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in parsley and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Transfer the cooled meat mixture to a large bowl. Mix in egg yolks. Mix in the cheese and parsley sauce. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium size bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the flour, add the slightly beaten egg, and mix. Mixture should form a stiff dough. If needed, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 to 4 minutes. With a pasta machine or by hand roll dough out to desired thickness (recommend the #5 thickness setting on hand-crank pasta machine). Use machine or knife to cut into 4- x 5-inch strips.
- In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the noodles a few at a time until al dente. This should take only a minute or two with fresh pasta. Transfer to a bowl of cold water. Spread the noodles in one layer on paper towels to drain.
- Place 1/3 of the cooled meat and parsley sauce mix into a blender or food processor. Pulse or blend until a smooth texture is achieved, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining mixture until all filling ingredients are processed.
- Prepare Fontina Cheese Sauce by placing Fontina, cream, butter and Parmesan in a double boiler or a bowl in a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth and hot.
- Cover bottom of 9 x 13-inch baking dish with 1/4 inch of marinara sauce. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling down the center of one noodle, and roll the noodle to enclose the filing. Transfer the cannelloni, seam side down, to 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and filling, arranging in single layer.
- Ladle the remaining marinara sauce on one side of the cannelloni, leaving the other 1/2 of each tube without sauce. Spread the Fontina cheese sauce on the other 1/2 of the cannelloni and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until bubbling. Run under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 2 minutes, or until golden.