- 1kg lean minced beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 x 660g jars passata with basil
- large pinch caster sugar
- 400g dried cannelloni tubes
For the topping
- 50g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 50g plain flour
- 600ml whole milk
- 140g soft cheese with garlic and herbs
- 140g Parmesan, grated
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
For the filling, dry-fry the beef in a non-stick pan on a medium-high heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned – about 10 mins. Remove and set aside. Add the oil and cook the onion for 5 mins, until soft. Add the garlic for 1 min more, then tip in the beef and 1½ jars of the passata sauce and the sugar. Simmer for 20 mins while you make the white sauce.
Heat the butter in a small pan. When foaming, stir in the flour for 1 min. Add the milk gradually, stirring all the time to achieve a lump-free sauce, then bubble for 2 mins while stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the soft cheese with seasoning until dissolved. Set aside, covered with cling film to stop a skin forming.
To assemble, pour the remaining tomato sauce into the base of 2-3 large baking dishes or 12 individual ovenproof dishes or foil containers. Spoon the beef into the cannelloni tubes using a teaspoon and lay on top of the sauce. Pour on the white sauce, then sprinkle with Parmesan. If freezing, allow to cool, then freeze wrapped well in cling film. To eat straight away, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for 40-45 mins until the pasta is tender and topping golden. Defrost frozen cannelloni thoroughly, then cook as above for 50 mins-55 mins (or see tip).
Cook from frozen
Cover with foil and cook at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for 1 hr 15 mins (at this stage it should be defrosted). Then remove foil, increase oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for 30 mins more until piping hot. If you froze single portions, check 15 mins before the end of each stage – they may cook quicker.