So tonight it was experimental squash canelloni for supper. This baby’s not going to win any beauty contests any time soon. I was going to cook a nice, innocuous tenderloin but forgot to take it out of the freezer so here we are. Plus, there were squash guts leftover from the lovely soup the mister the other night so this is all in the name of using what I’ve got. I was determined to use only things we had on hand for this dish. I almost did it but had to run across to the convenience store across the street and buy a can of tomatoes. It was very tasty but the texture was lacking…something. Everything was just too the same. I know that’s par for the canelloni course and maybe it’s my palette which is picky but I have a few thoughts on making a new, improved version. Beyond that I was really happy with the milk sauce I chose to go with it. It has been ages since I’ve had a milk pasta dish and this one really served its purpose in balancing flavours; it wasn’t so hearty that it overpowered the squash and wasn’t so meek that it needed a lot of help holding itself up.
Here’s the skinny on the filling:
2 cups of mashed, cooked squash
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 red onion, minced
1/4 cup pesto
Mix everything together and stuff into canelloni noodles laying out them in one layer across the bottom of an 11×13 casserole dish as you go. I used oven-ready in the interest of time and because I hate working with the cooked ones. This recipe uses about one box.
2 cups tomato sauce of your choice
2 cups of milk
1/4 cup pesto
Mix all of that together then use it to completely cover the stuffed canellonis in the casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes then top with slices of provolone, mozzarella or havarti and cook for another 30 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
So I would totally make this again but, instead of making a squishy squash filling I would transfer a lot of the flavour elements, like the feta and more pesto, to the sauce and use uncooked squash spears inside the noodles. This would eleminate a lot of the mess involved in stuffing them and help give the dish a little more textural backbone.