Cannelloni with Ricotta and Chard
INGREDIENTS (serves 4):
250g/8.8oz egg pasta or oven ready cannelloni
400g/14oz wild chard
400g/14oz Pinna fresh ricotta
Salt to taste
300g/10.5oz béchamel sauce
1liter/4 and 1/2 cups of tomato and basil sauce
100g/3.5oz Parmesan cheese
Clean the chard (use the wild variety if possible), discarding the hardest stems and rinsing well under running water. Place the chard in a pan with water and simmer at a moderate heat for 10 minutes. Once cooked through, drain and finely chop the chard. Mix the chard and the Pinna fresh ricotta together in a bowl to form a thick cream. Add a pinch of salt.
If using fresh, homemade pasta:
Cut the pasta into 12cm/4.7in rectangles and boil in salted water for one minute. Stuff the pasta by placing a tablespoon of the ricotta and chard filling in the top middle of each rectangle then roll.
If using oven ready cannelloni:
Fill the cannelloni with the mixture using a tablespoon.
Prepare the béchamel sauce, heating the milk in a small saucepan. In a non-stick saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat and gradually add the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon to avoid any lumps. Slowly add the warm milk and cook over a moderate heat, stirring well, until it reaches a boil. Turn off the ring.
Prepare a tomato and basil sauce.
Spread a couple of ladlefuls of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish with two tablespoons of béchamel and add a layer of cannelloni, aligning the rolls carefully. Cover with sauce, a few spoonfuls of béchamel and Parmesan. Add a second layer of cannelloni and cover again with the sauce, some Parmesan and the béchamel. Cook in an oven preheated to 200°C/392°F for 20 minutes, then finish it under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top.