Friday, November 8, 2013

Personal Challenge

For the past 3 years I have subscribed to the cooking magazine "Cuisine at home".  I've enjoyed cooking many meals and desserts from the beautiful, ad free pages with every single one of them being over-the-top amazing. Unfortunately, over the past year or two, it's become much easier to find recipes on the internet through Pinterest, as well as some of my favorite blogs, and I've forgotten my stacking-up gems.  

As I've cooked through the pages I've often thought I'd like to challenge myself to cook every single recipe.  To try new things, experiment with all the new and challenging foods they tempt me with and to learn the new techniques presented in each issue.  The magazines are quite pricey so if you'd rather come over to my blog for free, here's your chance to sample some true cuisine...  right in your own home!

Butternut Squash & Sausage Cannelloni
    with Sage Bechamel Sauce

8 flat, no-boil, dry lasagna sheets 
6 oz Isernio's Italian Sausage
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups diced butternut squash
1/4 cup diced red onion
3 tsp fresh minced garlic
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tsp sugar
4-5 cups fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp each ground sage and sage leaves
Pinch of nutmeg 

~  Cover a baking sheet with foil and coat with nonstick spray.  Blanch the sheets of lasagna in a pot of boiling salted water until pliable, 2-3 minutes.  Arrange sheets in a single layer on prepared baking sheets.
~  Brown sausage in half the oil over medium-high heat until no longer pink; transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.  Saute squash and onion in remaining olive oil in the same pan until onions soften, 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic; cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
~  Add broth and sugar; cover and steam until squash softens and liquid evaporates, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in spinach until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add sausage and season with salt and pepper, cool briefly.
~  Combine 3/4 cup fontina, ricotta and 1/2 cup Parmesan in a bowl; stir in squash-sausage mixture.
~  Preheat oven to 425 F with rack 6 inches from element.  Coat a baking dish with nonstick spray.
~  For the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in milk, add sage, and increase heat to medium-high.  Bring sauce to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened, 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg (taste please).
~  Coat bottom of baking dish with about a third of the sauce.
~  Fill and roll sheets with 1/2 cup filling (place filling on one end of pasta sheet and start rolling to other end); arrange in baking dish, seam sides down.
~  Top cannelloni with remaining sauce and remaining cheeses; cover loosely with foil poked with several holes.
~  Bake cannelloni 20 minutes; uncover and broil on high until golden and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
~  Serves 3-4

As with all recipes from "Cuisine At Home", this is full of flavor and texture! The recipes usually aren't simple and the ingredient lists are generally quite lengthy but in the end, every single step and ingredient is well worth it!  (I did make some minor modifications from the original recipe but left the bulk of it intact.)

Stay tuned for more "Cuisine At Home" cooking as I attempt my long awaited personal challenge!

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