Beef, Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

You will need...
500gr regular beef mince
1 small brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tins chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
250gr ricotta cheese
250gr chopped frozen spinach (you can use fresh if you like), defrosted
1/2 cup grated parmesan
250gr fresh lasagna sheets (or dried cannelloni if you wish)
60gr butter
1/3 cup plain flour
2 cups milk
1 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan, extra
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper
olive oil

1. For the sauce- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frypan and saute the onion and garlic on a medium-low heat until onion is transparent.Add tomato paste and tinned tomatoes, fill one tin with water, and add to the pan. Season with salt, pepper and oregano and cook for 35 minutes, uncovered at a gentle simmer.
Don't mind the mess!
2. For the bechamel- Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan over a low heat, then add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes (called a ROUX). Microwave the milk to warm, then gradually whisk into the roux until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until sauce thickens and gently bubbles. Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to season.
3. Squeeze excess moisture out of the spinach and mix together with the beef, ricotta, parmesan and a little bit of salt and pepper. Cut lasagna sheets in half, spoon an even amount of mixture down the centre and roll up to create a canneloni. Line up rolled and filled cannelloni in a baking dish, greased with butter or olive oil.
4. Once all cannelloni are filled, spoon the sauce over the top. Then top with the bechamel and finish with a sprinkling of mozzarella and extra parmesan cheese.
Now we're getting somewhere!
5. Cover with foil and bake in a hot oven, 200 degrees celsius, for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes to help sauce thicken and brown the cheese.
Voila!! Golden Brown & Delicious!
N.B. For the Napoletana (tomato) sauce, I added fresh oregano, basil and a tomato vine from the garden, you don't have to do this, but it adds a bit of extra flavour.


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