Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500°.
- 1 (8 oz) package cannelloni pasta
- 8 ounces lean ground beef
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1/2 stalk celery, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 10 oz fresh spinach, washed and chopped
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine (or 1 cup chicken broth)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
In an 11 x 17-inch baking dish (if you don't have one, a 9x13" will work fine), crumble beef and toss with chopped carrots, celery, onions and spinach. Add salt, pepper, olive oil and wine (or chicken broth). Mix well. Place in heated oven and roast until beef is brown and vegetables are soft, about 30 to 40 minutes. Note: Be careful not to burn the meat and vegetables; this is a very hot temperature. If meat begins to smoke, lower oven temperature to 400°. Stir often while baking. Cool for 15 minutes.
Place meat mixture in food processor and process until finely chopped. Add cream, roma tomatoes, Parmesan, Italian seasoning and basil. Stir and return to oven for approximately 20 minutes (or longer if it needs to thicken more). Remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 350°. Let mixture cool for 15 to 20 minutes, then stuff each cannelloni with 2 to 3 Tbsp of mixture. Place in a clean 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
While meat mixture is cooling, make tomato sauce.
- 1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
Place tomatoes with liquids in food processor and process until smooth. Set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and onion; saute until soft. Add processed tomatoes, salt and pepper and saute 5 to 10 minutes or until sauce is no longer watery. Add fresh basil leaves and cook for 1 minute longer.
Pour tomato sauce over cannelloni and bake for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.