Green Shard Cannelloni stuffed with Shard Stalks and Prosciutto in Béchamel
Apr. 19, 2013 11:04 am
Updated: Apr. 20, 2013 7:33 am
Along with Kale, Chard is one of our most favorite vegetables to cook with. You can coax it into doing so many things the variations seem endless, especially in Italian cooking. So when this beautiful bunch of green chard showed up in our weekly farm box,
I thought of a cannelloni recipe I remembered from Marcella Hazan that was stuffed with the stalks from the chard along with strips of prosciutto and béchamel (balsamella in Italian cooking), for which the recipe is called,
Cannelloni Ripieni di Coste di Biete if you want to look up the original. For my prep, I will use the entire bunch of chard, leaves and stalks. The leaves will be cooked down and mixed into the pasta dough to make a green
pasta sheet and also mixed into the filling. The stalks will be partly cooked and then used to stuff the cannelloni.
1 - 1 1/4 cup of '00' or AP flour
2 large eggs
1 bunch of fresh Green Chard, leaves and stalks separated
3oz of prosciutto cut into 1/2" strips
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion, small dice
1/8 TSP ground nutmeg
1 cup grated Parmesan
Prepare a Béchamel using:
3 cups whole milk
5 TBSP unsalted butter
5 TBSP flour
1/2 TSP salt
Prepare the Chard:
To start, rinse the chard well and soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Then strip off the leaves from the center stalks, leave the leaves in fairly large pieces. Cut the stalks into 3-4" pieces and then cut down the center into 1/4-1/2" widths. Heat up a large
pot of salted water and boil the chard leaves for 5-6 minutes. Remove the chard with a slotted spoon into a collender and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well. Now add the cut chard stalks to the salted water and boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove
the stalks also with a slotted spoon and retain the water, move the pot off the burner. Rinse the stalks with cold water and set aside. Squeeze out the water from the chard leaves and chop well as small as you can get it.
Make the Dough:
For the pasta dough, on a wooden surface make a mound of 1 cup of flour and put 2 large eggs into a well in the middle. With a fork, beat the eggs to mix the white and the yolk and then add about 2/3 of the chopped chard to the well. Begin mixing the egg and
chard with your fork, incorporating some of the flour into the middle as you go. Continue until most of the flour is mixed in, have some flour in reserve in case you need to add more (you probably will because of the wet chard). Knead the dough by hand for
5-8 minutes, adding more flour if the dough ball is too sticky (it will be stickier than usual). When done, dust the dough ball with flour and wrap in plastic and set aside for 30 minutes to an hour for the dough to set.
Make the Pasta Sheets:
When you're ready, make pasta sheets taking your machine down to the next to last setting and cut the sheets into rectangles about 8" long. Have a large bowl of cold water ready. Heat up the reserved water used to boil the chard. Dip 2 or 3 of the sheets into
the softly boiling water for 20 seconds or so and then remove and plunge into the cold water. Rinse the sheets under cold water in the sink and lay flat of a kitchen towel. Repeat for all of the remaining sheets.
Make the stuffing:
Heat the 2 TBSP butter and 1 TBSP oil in a large skillet and saute the onion and prosciutto strips until the onion turns golden. Now add the chard stalks and cook for a few minutes turning frequently. Add a few grinds of fresh pepper and a few pinches of salt.
When done, place the mixture in a large bowl. Make the béchamel and place over low heat, stirring until the consistency is like heavy cream. Mix in the béchamel with the stuffing mix, reserving a cup or so for later. Mix in the remaining chopped chard leaves
from before, the nutmeg and 2/3 of the grated cheese.
Heat the oven to 400
Prepare the Cannelloni:
Coat the bottom of a baking pan with butter and smear a bit of the béchamel on top. Now take a pasta sheet and add some of the stuffing mix along with a small topping of béchamel. Roll up into a cannelloni and place into the baking dish seam side down. Repeat
for all the sheets and stuffing. When done, layer the remaining béchamel on top and down the sides of the cannelloni where they might touch. If you want, you can top with a few small pieces of unsalted butter, 2-3 TBSP max. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the
top forms a light brown crust. Remove from the oven and let set for 10 minutes before serving.
Have pasta sheets left over? Cut into pappardelle, hang to dry and enjoy with another meal!
Green Chard Cannelloni stuffed with Chard Stalks
Green Chard Pasta Mix
Pasta Dough Ball
Pasta Sheets ready for stuffing