Shellfish Stuffed Spinach Cannelloni with a Truffled Balsamella
- Spinach pasta dough, rolled into sheets, and cut into 4-inch squares, recipe follows
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 pound cooked lobster meat, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 pound cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs of choice, such as tarragon, parsley, and basil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white truffle oil, or to taste, optional
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
- Spinach pasta dough:
- 2 1/2 ounces fresh spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
- 1/2 pound all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 small egg
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and add pasta squares. Stir well to prevent them from sticking together and cook for less than half a minute. Drain and transfer partially cooked pasta to a large bowl of ice water. Once cooled, transfer to damp kitchen towels and cover until ready to assemble the cannelloni.
In a saute pan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter along with the olive oil and saute onion until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add lobster, shrimp, crabmeat, and chopped herbs. Gently toss to combine.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Assemble the cannelloni by placing a small amount of the filling in the center of each pasta square and roll up, cigar fashion. Repeat with the remaining cannelloni. Lightly oil a large casserole dish and arrange filled cannelloni, seam side up. Set aside while you make the sauce.
In a small saucepan melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and whisk in flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the milk and whisk to combine well. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook for 5 minutes, until very thick and the floury taste is gone. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and truffle oil. Pour sauce over top of cannelloni, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until heated through, bubbly and golden brown on top.Spinach pasta dough:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and blanched spinach. Process to mix well. With the machine running, add the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil through the feed tube, and process until it resembles wet cornmeal, about 2 minutes.
Take a handful of dough at a time and form into a firm ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Roll out each dough ball into desired shape in a pasta machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Yield: about 1 3/4 pounds fresh pasta
Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali