Cannelloni Stuffed with Turkey and Fennel

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This recipe uses lasagne sheets which are not layered but instead wrapped round a filling of minced turkey, fennel and red pepper. The result is light, rather fat cannelloni in a rich cheese sauce.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red pepper, cored, deseeded and chopped finely
  • 1 large bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped finely
  • 8 lasagne sheets (the ‘no precooking’ type)
  • 2–3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground mace
  • 500 g (1 lb) minced turkey
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 25 g (1 oz) plain flour
  • 600 ml (1 pint) milk
  • 125 g (4 oz) mature Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

Lightly oil a rectangular ovenproof dish. Put the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped pepper and fennel and stir around, then cover and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10–15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the lasagne sheets into a sink of hot water into which you have sprinkled a few drops of oil. Leave for 8-12 minutes until the pasta is just soft enough to bend but not so soft that it will tear easily. Drain the sheets separately on a flat surface.

When the vegetables are soft add the chopped garlic and stir for another 1-2 minutes, then increase the heat and stir in the mace, followed by the minced turkey. Stir around with a wooden spoon over a high heat until the turkey meat has separated, then cook for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Turn the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Spoon some of the cooked turkey and vegetable mixture on to the centre of each lasagne sheet, then roll the pasta loosely round the filling and place the rolls carefully in the dish join side down.

To make the sauce, gently melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and using a wooden spoon stir in the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the milk, return to the heat and bring to the boil. Stir all the time until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat, add the grated Cheddar cheese and stir until melted, then season with plenty of black pepper and a little salt if necessary.

Gradually pour the sauce over the pasta rolls, letting it sink down to the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake just above the centre of a preheated oven, 190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5 for 35-40 minutes until speckly brown.

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