Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Chicken, Roasted Fennel
and Potato Cannelloni

Serves 6-8



For Pasta:
10 oz spinach
1-1/4 cups flour
2 eggs

For Filling:
2 fennel bulbs, stalks and greens removed
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 lb red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2" dice
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

For Sauce:
3 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tbsp jar chopped garlic)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)



For pasta:
Boil or steam the spinach until wilted. Drain and squeeze dry. purée in a food processor. Mix spinach with the flour and eggs, and knead into smooth, soft dough. Wrap in plastic and set aside.

Prepare filling:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut fennel bulbs in half and coat with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Place in a small baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake 35 minutes. Remove cover; raise heat to high and bake until golden brown. Remove from pan and dice. Set aside. Keep oven on.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Sauté until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Shred chicken and set aside.

Cook potatoes in a saucepan of boiling, salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes very well. Mash well. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk and add to potatoes, stirring until combined well. Add chicken and diced fennel, combining well. Add Romano and parsley, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Roll out the pasta dough very thinly and cut into 4" squares with a sharp knife. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop in pasta a few squares at a time and cook until al dente. Remove squares with a slotted spoon and place on a cloth to dry.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a small skillet. Add garlic and rosemary sprig and cook until garlic just begins to brown. Add lemon juice and simmer until lemon juice is reduced by half. Add cream, and simmer gently, until reduced and thickened. Remove rosemary sprig, and stir in Romano cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray a 13x9x2-inch baking dish well with cooking spray. Spread lemon cream sauce in bottom of dish. Place about 2 tbsp. Of filling in the center of each square and roll it up to form a cylinder. Place in prepared pan, seam side down. Pour remaining sauce over cannelloni. Cover with foil.

Bake, at 350 degrees F, covered 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

The filling can be made the day before and refrigerated up to 2 days. The cannelloni can also be made ahead and refrigerated 2-3 days or individually frozen. To freeze, lay cannelloni in a single layer on a parchment or plastic covered baking sheet. Cover well with plastic wrap and foil. Freeze. Remove cannelloni from sheet and place in a zip top plastic bag. You can use as many as needed. They stay good for about 2 months.


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This page created December 2000