One of my favourite things to do is to cook stuff that I know my partner, Tom, will love. Sometimes, we will end up eating the same meals for a couple of weeks and struggle for inspiration. Time is a huge factor in this and I love anything that you is prepped and cooked within 45 minutes – 1 hour. Tom has never been a huge fan of pasta dishes but he did mention that he loved cannelloni a few weeks ago so I have been waiting for the right day to cook him some and to think of what flavour to do. The traditional flavour pairing is spinach and ricotta but I find it so boring and a little bit mushy. I also know that Tom isn’t the biggest fan of veggie dishes, preferring to have meat or fish at dinner time. Plus, ricotta is tasteless, in my opinion! Yesterday, I knew I had the time to create something tasty for us and decided to make the cannelloni.
While I knew I didn’t want to use spinach and ricotta, I didn’t really know what to use! Usually, I would just look in the fridge/ freezer to see what we have and create something from that. I did that, and saw we had chicken and chorizo sitting there waiting to be used. Chorizo is one of our favourite things to use in cooking, Tom always puts it in his chilli and it makes it so smokey, it’s divine! I knew that using it in the cannelloni would be a good idea and it would be something that Tom would love. It was actually easy to do, it was just slightly more time consuming than an ordinary pasta dish, but so worth it! I also had some filling leftover to put in the freezer to use again which is always a winner! I used a cheese sauce on mine that I had in the freezer from a lasagne a couple of months ago! It’s super easy to make though. It’s literally making a roux from 40g plain flour and 25g butter, gradually adding vegetable stock until it’s a consistency you want. Season with salt and pepper, add one tsp dijon mustard and then sprinkle in cheese to taste. That’s it! The following recipe is enough for 3 people.
Prep time – 10 minutes.
Cooking time – 1 hour.
- 150g chorizo, cut into half moons.
- 2 medium chicken breast, diced.
- 1 medium brown onion, diced.
- 1 tsp lazy garlic.
- Salt and pepper.
- 1 tsp dried basil.
- 2 lemons – zest and juice.
- 200ml half-fat creme fraiche
- 200g cannelloni tubes.
- 50g grated parmesan.
- Put a large frying pan on a high heat, then add the chorizo. The chorizo will produce its own oil to cook the rest of the ingredients in. Cook for around 5 minutes, ensuring it doesn’t burn.
- Add the onion and garlic to the chorizo and turn the heat down to medium. Saute the onion and garlic for around 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
- Next, add the diced chicken breast, dried basil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for around 6 minutes.
- After the chicken has cooked, add the mixture to a food processor, along with the lemon zest, juice and the creme fraiche.
- Blitz the mixture until it is mostly smooth. Chorizo is a hard thing to blend and make it completely smooth, but to be honest, I quite like having the contrast in texture.
- When you have the right consistency for the meat mixture, you need to fill the cannelloni tubes. It’s easier with a piping bag, but I don’t have one so I did it the old fashioned way – with a teaspoon! It was slightly time consuming, but they looked amazing!
- When all of your tubes are filled, pour over your choice of sauce and pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees.
- Cook for 40 minutes, but halfway through, sprinkle some parmesan over the top. It will be a gorgeous, golden brown when it comes out of the oven.
That’s it! Enjoy! X