Now hear me out, let me first start by saying that this was a beautiful accident and not some pretentious attempt to be really different and cool with my cooking (although that would indeed be fun). OK, while as some of you know I really enjoy cooking and when I do my food shopping (usually on a Sunday for all of you who are only dying to know, and usually in Lidl or Aldi depending on the week) I have a few ideas in mind. I usually plan about four meals and then I sort of create dinners as I go along for the rest of the days. Well this week, I decided to make a Lasagne. This is a really handy dinner because it lasts two days and can even be handy to bring to work for lunch. So off I went on my merry way to make a Lasagne on Tuesday night after work. It's a really straight forward thing to make. You literally need your minced beef (I always go for steak mince, and the best and least fattening type is the less than 5% fat variety) your tomato sauce, your bechamel sauce (while sauce), Lasagne pasta sheets and then cheese for the top. I walked in to the kitchen full of confidence and then I realised I made a huge school-boy (girl) error and I completely forgot to buy Lasagne sheets.
I say "forgot" but it was moreso that I was completely positive that we had some at home already. Baby brain eh? So what's a girl to do? I had everything else, should I abandon my plans altogether? I knew I wouldn't be near a supermarket and I didn't really have anything else ready to cook or defrosted so I put the thinking cap on. I opened the press and there it was, glaring at me all seductively (please note as disclaimer I am not attracted to pasta) - a packet of Cannelloni. This is an excellent example of something that I bought and had great intentions for. I love the kind of Cannelloni you get in Italian restaurants with the creamy spinach and ricotta, but alas, I never got around to trying to make it! What at first was a bit of a disaster had suddenly become a bit of a ready, steady, cook challenge and I knew I had the makings of something yummy.
OK, so I had all of the makings of a Lasagne, and instead of Lasagne sheets I had these really cool pasta tubes that they call Cannelloni. They are usually filled with products but I knew they would work once they were immersed in a sauce of some sorts as it is the sauce in the lasagne that cooks the lasagne (pasta). So after a bit of experimenting I came up with a new invention. I give you, the Lasagnelloni.
Here is how it all happened - gosh, isn't this so incredibly exciting?
So here was what I had to work with. A stack of chopped vegetables - courgette, different colour peppers, and carrot. Then there was the steak mince which I fried and mixed with my favourite Lidl pasta sauce (the one with mushrooms) and finally, the elusive cannelloni.
First I used my ladle to put one large spoon of meat and sauce in to the Lasagne dish. I then places the Cannelloni tubes on top of the sauce and positioned them as evenly as possible. I then started layering my chopped vegetables on top of the pasta in the opposite directly so that they would stay in place. Don't the colours look pretty? Photo turned out a bit dark though, whoops!
I then added all of the meat and sauce to the top of the vegetables ensuring that they were (mostly) all covered.
Then it was time to add the lovely white bechamel sauce. I literally poured in top as evenly as I could. I then topped it with some grated Mozzerella (Lidl do a bag for €1.15 and it is gorgeous).
I then put this baby in the oven at about 180'C for about 45 minutes. When it came out it was crispy and golden on the outside and lovely and soft and oosey on the inside. I was so delighted with how great it turned out. The cannelloni worked a treat. It was actually nicer the next day, and this is how I served it - with a simple green salad (with some balsamic vinegar on top) and two cheeky pieces of garlic bread.
Gorgeous food isn't always limited to restaurants. With a bit of creativity you can really create something gorgeous in your own kitchen.