We’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from Chef Michael O’Boyle of ChickenFriedGourmet.com.
When we looked at his cannelloni, we thought: reverse spaghetti and meatballs could become a fun family favorite.
Instead of stuffing ground meat into cannelloni in the classic way, turn your meatball recipe into mini meatballs and pack them into the cannelloni tubes.
REVERSE SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS RECIPE
Instead of conventional stuffing, use mini meatballs.Photo courtesy ChickenFriedGourmet.com.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175° C).
2. Make the meatballs and shape into miniature balls that will fit into the cannelloni tubes. Bake for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through (160°F)—mini meatballs will cook more quickly than conventional ones. Remove from oven and let cool until meat can be comfortably handled.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the cannelloni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside until meatballs are ready.
4. Stuff each cannelloni with 4 meatballs (or as many as fit) and place in a 9″ x 13″ inch baking dish. Pour tomato sauce over cannelloni and bake 20 minutes, or until sauce begins to bubble.
5. If you’d like a mozzarella top, add the slices in the final 10 minutes so it doesn’t overly brown. Otherwise, grate ribbons of Parmesan over the cannelloni when ready to serve (we use a Microplane ribbon grater, although you can use a conventional grater.
6. Optional garnish: basil chiffonade.
1. Place tomatoes and can juices in a food processor; process until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
3. Add garlic and onion; sauté until soft. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper; sauté 5 to 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add fresh basil leaves and cook for 1 minute longer.
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