No Stuffed pasta could be more elegant, none tastier, none more simple to assemble than cannelloni Yet there is none whose execution is customarily so dreary. The error that most cooks make with cannelloni is that they take the stuffing, shape it like a sausage, and wrap layers of pasta around it. Thus cannelloni turn out to be dull, thick casings for a clumsy lump trapped in their center.
The correct method is not more difficult to carry out, but it yields incomparably finer results. The pasta is laid flat and the stuffing mixture, however it may be composed, is spread thinly over the entire surface. Then the pasta is rolled up loosely, like a jelly roll, so that each layer of pasta is filmily bound to the next by no more savory stuffing than is absolutely necessary.
Of the many stuffings for cannelloni I have experimented with, this one with asparagus and ham has never failed to please.
© 1986 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.