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Crispy Ricotta & Buffalo Mozzarella Cannelloni with Tomato Sauce

Ingredienti, Massimiliano & Raffaele Alajmo / October 2011

For 4 servings

Cannelloni:
• unsalted butter, melted (for molds)
• 4 tsps. (20 g) egg white
• 3/4 Tbsp. (10 g) lard, melted
• 1/8 tsp. (1/2 g) salt
• 12 sheets phyllo dough, each cut into 2 3/4" by 10" rectangles

  1. Heat oven to 250°F.

  2. Butter cannoli molds; reserve.

  3. Place egg whites, lard, and salt in a bowl; blend with immersion blender 30 seconds; reserve.

  4. Roll 1/4 length of phyllo around cannoli mold; brush remaining 3/4 of phyllo with egg white mixture; roll remaining phyllo around mold; place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper; repeat with remaining molds and phyllo sheets; bake 7 minutes (without ventilation); remove from heat; remove phyllo from molds while still hot; place on baking sheet; raise oven temperature to 340°F; bake 9 minutes (without ventilation); remove from oven; place on wire racks; cool completely; reserve.

Ricotta cream:
• 10 1/2 oz. (300 g) buffalo ricotta
• 3/4 cup (60 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
• 3/4 Tbsp. (10 g) extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 5 drops soy sauce
• superfine sugar

Wrap ricotta in cheesecloth; squeeze out any liquid; place in a blender; add remaining ingredients; blend 1 minute; place cream in pastry bag fitted with round tip; reserve in refrigerator.

Tomato sauce:
• 5 1/2 tsps. (25 g) extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 (3 g) clove garlic
• 2 leaves basil
• 1 1/2 cups (350 g) canned tomatoes, pureed
• 1/3 tsp. (2 g) salt
• 1/4 tsp. (1 1/2 g) superfine sugar

Heat oil in sauté pan set over low heat; add garlic; cook until softened; add basil; cook 10 seconds; add tomatoes, salt, and sugar; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; simmer 3 to 4 minutes; remove from heat; remove garlic and basil; discard; reserve sauce (keep warm).

Assembly:
• 8 cubes buffalo mozzarella, each cut into 1/3" cubes
• 3 Tbsps. (15 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
• 2/3 cup (150 g) tomato confit
• basil pesto
• extra-virgin olive oil
• fresh basil leaves

  1. Heat oven to 340°F.

  2. Pat mozzarella dry with paper towels; place cheeses in a bowl; mix well; cover with plastic wrap; reserve.

  3. Place confit in pastry bag; reserve.

  4. Pipe a little reserved ricotta cream into one end of cannelloni; add mozzarella cube and a little pesto; pipe in some tomato confit; add another mozzarella cube; finish with ricotta cream, piping to close up other end; repeat with remaining ingredients; place cannelloni on baking sheet lined with parchment paper; bake 5 minutes; remove from oven; reserve (keep warm).

  5. To serve, stack 3 cannelloni on each serving plate; spoon tomato sauce on plate; drizzle oil around; garnish with basil.

What to drink: Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi 2002