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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chili Macaroni

Chili Macaroni is a recipe I copied from a magazine years ago.  I can't even remember which one.  It's a nice quick dinner or supper that can be ready in the time it takes to chop a few vegetables, open a couple of cans and cook the pasta.  Use whatever pasta you like.  The original recipe calls for elbow macaroni but I think it's more interesting with the rotini, although it doesn't taste any different. 

We don't like hot and spicy foods so I go easy on the chili powder which isn't even too spicy as spicy foods go.  If you like a kick to your food, add a few slices of jalapeno or pepper flakes.  

We like to serve this with a side of nacho or corn chips, a green salad and a topping of cheese and sour cream...Mmmmmm....good.  

Chili Macaroni
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green/red/yellow pepper, chopped (whatever you have on hand)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package/can veggie burger, approximately the equivalent of 1 pound ground beef
1 540 gram  can kidney or black beans  (black beans are my favourite)
1 398 gram can tomato sauce
1 540 gram  can diced tomatoes, (you can use the flavoured ones with chili or onions, etc.)
1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
2 cups elbow macaroni or rotini
Sour cream (optional)
Crushed corn or nacho chips (optional)
Grated Cheese (optional)

Sauté onion, green pepper, and garlic in oil until soft.  Add veggie burger, beans, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, chili powder, salt and black pepper to the onion mixture.  Simmer a few minutes until blended.  Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.  Combine pasta with the chili mixture  

Garnish with sour cream, corn chips and a little grated cheese on top.  Serve with a green salad.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Chop the vegetables, sauté in the oil.  Add the veggie burger, beans, tomatoes and sauce and seasonings.  Simmer for a few minutes and add the pasta.  Ready in minutes from the pan to your plate. 

Serve the Chili Macaroni with a side of nacho or corn chips and a lovely fresh salad.  Top with a little grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Tasty and satisfying. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fresh Pear Pie

Pear Pie is not well-known where I live.  I guess pears are so expensive when not in season that when you get a good juicy basket of pears the desire is to eat them fresh, as apple pie will suffice if one wants a pie to eat.  Yes, Pear Pie is similar to apple pie in that it is a sweet concoction of fruit and spices baked in a pie crust.  But it has subtle differences, not to mention the pear flavour,  and is a delicious choice for a fruit pie. 

I first learned to make Pear Pie when I was a very poor student.  It was the end of the summer and I'd worked hard to try and pay off as much of my school bill as I could.  I was stranded without anywhere to live and no money to go back to school.  I needed to get another job or get back home and neither one seemed possible at that time.  Fortunately, wonderful people, the Von Gunten's took me into their home for a few weeks til I could get on my feet and figure out what I was going to do. 

The Von Gunten's had a lovely large yard with a vegetable garden, fruit trees and grapevines.  Having no experience with "farming" I was fascinated by all this agriculture right in the back yard.  I would walk around looking at grapes growing over and around the arbour, tomatoes ripening in the garden and various fruit trees laden with their ripe offerings.  I even became acquainted with a little garter snake and his family.  I tried to catch one but, fortunately for the snake, it was lightning-fast slithering into crevices of the rock fence.   

Mrs. Von Gunten was a good cook and she fed me well but she also taught me well.  I wandered into the kitchen one morning and found Mrs. Von Gunten making a pie.  I thought it was apple pie until I saw her peeling pears.  My naive eyes opened wide.  I had never heard of a Pear Pie and it never occurred to me that pears would be good in a pie.  But they were! (I have since learned that just about anything can be encased in pastry.)  That was one delicious pie.  I don't know if Mrs. Von Gunten knew she was teaching me how to make Pear Pie but I watched and asked questions and remembered how she made it. 

The other day I was at the grocery store having a rummage through the near-dead fruit and vegetable bin where produce is marked down to an almost reasonable price.  Every now and then I'll find something quite salvageable and take it home with great satisfaction knowing I've gotten a good bargain.  It was on that day I spied two trays of pears with four pears in each tray.  Now, let me tell you, over-ripe pears aren't usually a bargain.  By the time they're spotted and soft on the outside, they're dead rotten on the inside.  But something about those pears drew me to them and I reached out with my well-experienced-fruit-squeezing-hand and gave them a little pinch.  Ah, they were still quite firm.  That was a good sign.  I picked up one of the packages and had a closer look and ascertained the pears were not rotten but a bit bruised.  I bought both packages, at $1.20 each, and knew there was a Pear Pie in my future.  

By the way, I never got a job those many years ago but found my way home.  You can read about that journey and more wonderful people over on Hippie Granola.  I actually became quite a responsible adult and held a full time job for over thirty years.  I'm glad those good people didn't give up on me. 

Pear Pie
6-8 pears
2 tablespoons flour
¼ -½ cup sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 9-inch unbaked double pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Have bottom pie crust in the pie dish.

Peel and slice pears.  Gently mix slices with the flour, sugar and spices and place in the pie crust.  If you like a sweet pie use the greater amount of sugar or more to taste. As pears are naturally quite sweet, I used the ¼ cup of sugar and it was sweet enough for us.  

Brush a little water on the edge of the bottom crust Place the top crust over the fruit and seal to bottom crust. 

Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees.  Lower heat to 375 and bake an additional 25 minutes.  The pie should be bubbling and the crust a golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Serve warm or cold with ice cream.  Makes 6-8 servings.

As you can see, these pears are perfect once they were peeled.  

 Mix the sugar, flour and spices together and toss with the pear slices.

Place the pear slices in the prepared pie crust.  You can see the top crust is ready to be laid on top.  These pears were really good.  I decided to use all eight pears in the pie so I used a 10-inch pie plate instead of the 9-inch but as I was peeling and slicing I made the mistake of tasting a pear slice.  It was so juicy and sweet that I stopped and ate one of the pears and put one aside for Don so I really only had enough pears for a 9-inch pie but I put them in the larger pie plate anyway as it was already lined with the pastry. 

Brush water on the edge of the bottom crust to "glue" the top crust to the bottom. 

When top and bottom crusts are sealed, make a fancy border.  Cut a few slashes on the top to vent the steam.   I sprinkled a little sugar on the top crust.  As you can see the 10-inch pie is still a respectable looking pie.  It would have been a little thicker if we didn't eat two of the pears.

Hot from the oven, cooling on the counter, with the sun shining through the window.  Can't wait to get my jaws on this one.  

The Pear Pie was delicious.  I served the pie warm with a scoop butterscotch ice cream.

Naturally sweet and delicious!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Glazed Parsnip

Parsnip is one of those vegetables that is included in every stew pack sold in Newfoundland but it's also one of those vegetables that you either love or hate.  I don't hear many people say they can "take it or leave it".  The parsnip is a cousin of the carrot as one can readily tell by its shape, and children (and some adults) sometimes refer to them as white carrots.  But carrots they are not! 

Parsnips are sweeter than carrots and I find cook much faster.  If one is not careful, they can be cooked to a soggy mush. (Which may account for some of the dislike.)  The sweet vegetable gets even sweeter if harvested after the first frost of the year but if left too long in the ground becomes tough and woody.  This ancient root vegetable takes well to soups and stews lending a wonderful flavour not imparted by any other vegetable.  I know people who hate parsnip but love its flavour in a pot of soup. 

As a child parsnip wasn't a favourite of mine but if mom cooked parsnip, we ate parsnip.  It can be quite surprising to take a bite of the white vegetable, thinking it's a potato, to get a mouthful of the sweet root.  

Dad liked parsnip and he's the one who really won me over to the vegetable's finer points.  His favourite way to eat them was glazed in butter and brown sugar.  Oh, were they ever good and special.  Glazed parsnips would be saved for a special dinner like Christmas or Easter.  You wouldn't have glazed parsnips at an everyday meal. 

And with that in mind I'd like to start this year's Christmas line-up of recipes.  Of course, YOU can eat these any day of the week or save them for a special meal.  I will be forced to eat these parsnips in October, on a weekday, with no special guests in tow.  Oh, well....that's one of  the sacrifices I must make to write this blog.

Glazed Parsnips
1 pound bag parsnips, about 4 or 5
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar 
1 teaspoon butter, if needed
Water as needed

Peel and trim parsnips.  Cut each parsnip in half or thirds (if very long) cross-ways and then cut each piece in half length-ways.  

In a medium saucepan, in a small amount of salted water, cook parsnip until tender crisp.  The smaller pieces will cook much faster so remove those as they become cooked.  Drain parsnip on paper toweling.  This part can be done in advance and parsnip kept refrigerated until ready to finish recipe.  

Over medium heat, melt butter in a large frying pan.  Place the dry parsnip pieces in the butter and sauté until they start to turn a light golden.  The natural sugars in the parsnip will start to caramelize.  Be careful not to burn the parsnips. Lightly sprinkle half the brown sugar (1½ tablespoons) over the parsnips and turn each piece over.  After about 1 minute, sprinkle with remaining brown sugar and turn again and let cook for an additional minute.  Remove parsnip from pan and place on serving plate. 

There may be some melted butter left in the pan but if not melt the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter in the pan and add the extra 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.  Stir together until mixture starts to bubble.  Add one or two teaspoons water and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Add more water as needed.   Dribble the brown sugar sauce over the parsnip and sprinkle lightly with nutmeg and serve immediately. 

Makes 6 servings. 

Peel and cut the parsnip in halves and quarters.  Boil in a small amount of lightly salted water.  I used only one large parsnip because there are only two of us to eat this today. 

Remove any small pieces as they become cooked and drain on paper toweling.

 Sauté parsnip in butter until lightly browned.

Sprinkle the parsnip with brown sugar on both sides.  Cook for a minute on each side.  Remove from pan to serving plate.

Add the remaining butter, if needed, and brown sugar to the pan.  Mix and let bubble.  Add a little water to mix everything smooth.

Dribble a little of the brown sugar sauce over the parsnip and sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.

Ready for a special meal.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pineapple Tapioca Pudding

In this day of instant everything it's nice to get back to the real thing every now and then.  Pineapple Pudding is one of those real puddings your grandmother may have made for a tasty dessert following a family dinner.  This tapioca pudding is light and creamy with the added goodness of pineapple and coconut.  A bowlful is perfect after a heavy meal or slice and fill an angel food or sponge cake with the mixture for a luscious tropical dessert.

This recipe was passed on to me by Mrs. Marjorie Diamond, one of those stalwart church ladies who could usually be found in the kitchen directing any church dinner or after-party refreshments that might be on the go.  I was never allowed to help in the kitchen in those days.  The younger women were expected to know their place in the pecking order and were relegated to the cleaning up and dish washing that followed these occasions. 

A few days before one of those particular social functions Mrs. Diamond and I were chatting about the food that would be served and she told me about Pineapple Pudding and how good it was.  I had never heard of it so she gladly shared the recipe.  I was a bit skeptical when I read the recipe but when I made it I loved it.  I brought a big bowl of it to the church social and the bowl was scraped clean.

This is the night I almost killed Mrs. Diamond.  We were playing some silly party game where everyone  had a list of things to find around the room and building.  I don't remember what the name of the game was but I do know I was fiercely competitive and was trying my best to find everything on my list.  As it happened, Mrs. Diamond and I both spied the same item at the same time.  It was something like a safety pin or paper clip and we both made a mad dash to retrieve it.  I was in the bloom of youth, hale and hearty, in my 20s and Mrs. Diamond was not.  She was about 70 and  suffered from arthritis in her knees. We both grabbed at the same time and were both struggling to get it from the other when we collided and down she went, flat on her back.  I was aghast at what I had done (we had actually done it together but I was younger and stronger).  For sure I knew she had broken a hip or leg or cracked her head.  She lay there winded, with everyone around her, and then managed to laugh and say she was all right.  Many hands helped and Mrs. Diamond was soon back in her chair.  I gave her the offending item.  She was gracious and never mentioned the incident again but I'll venture to guess she was awfully sore the next day. 

I think I was psychologically scarred that day and the making of this pudding and writing about the experience has been a healing and cathartic experience. 

Pineapple Tapioca Pudding
1½ cups pineapple juice (saved from the drained pineapple)
3-4 tablespoons minute tapioca (use 3 tablespoons for a softer pudding)
½ cup sugar, or to taste
½ cup shredded coconut
19 oz/540 ml can of crushed pineapple, drained (save the juice)
Pinch of salt
2 cups whipped cream or whipped topping

Additional whipped cream for garnish, optional
Maraschino cherries for garnish, optional

Before starting the pudding drain a 19 oz/540 ml can of crushed pineapple.  You don't have to squeeze the pineapple dry but press the pineapple against the stainer to extract most of the juice.  Save the juice for the liquid in the recipe.  Add water to make up the 1½ cups of juice.

In a medium saucepan soak tapioca in pineapple juice for 5 minutes.  Place saucepan over medium heat.  While stirring, boil pineapple juice and tapioca until clear.  Stir in sugar, coconut, crushed pineapple and salt.  (You may wish to use less sugar because pineapple is quite sweet as it is and remember whipped topping is also sweet. I used a little more than ¼ cup of sugar.) 

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  When cool fold in whipped cream/topping.  Pour into a pretty serving dish or into individual dishes and refrigerated until ready to eat.  Top with additional whipped cream and a cherry if desired.

Makes 4-6 servings. 

Orange Pineapple Pudding:  To the above recipe add 1 very well drained can of Mandarin Oranges.

When you drain the pineapple, save the juice.  If you don't have enough, add enough water to make up the 1½ cups of juice.

Add the tapioca to the pineapple juice.  Soak for 5 minutes then boil until thick and clear.  Add the sugar, coconut and crushed pineapple.

Take the hot pineapple off the heat and let cool to room temperature.  Fold in 2 cups whipped cream/topping. Pour into a serving dish or into individual dishes and refrigerate until ready to use.

Find a pretty bowl for serving the pudding. 

The original Pineapple Tapioca Pudding.

The Orange Pineapple version is just as tasty. 

Creamy Pineapple Tapioca Pudding

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Everyday Custard Rice Pudding

This is a Rice Pudding kind of day.  Every time I look out the window I think it's going to rain any minute but it hasn't.  I was out for a little while this afternoon and sure enough I thought it was going to rain and so did everyone I met.  A little mist every now and again is the worst we've had in precipitation but I think it might rain any minute, now.  Rice Pudding is good on a day like today.  It's such a comfort food.

This is the brightest the sky has been all day.
I think it might rain any minute, now.
Rice Pudding was a staple dessert when I was growing up.  Not that we had it every week but we had it at least once a month, sometimes more.  Mom's pudding wasn't a creamy stirred pudding.  It was baked in the oven in a custard mixture which when baked produced a bottom layer of rice and a velvety smooth topping of baked custard. I loved that custard top and would eat it after I ate the rice, saving what I thought was the best for the last.  

Rice Pudding wasn't an afterthought of left over rice from an earlier meal but a dessert in its own standing.  I was quite blown away, as a young child, when I realized people ate rice with their dinner as we never ate rice except in Rice Pudding.  

Mom always used the 5-minute rice in her puddings.  I don't think we ever had regular long grain rice in the house and it wasn't until I was an adult I was introduced to "real" rice (but that's another story).   The pudding always had plump sweet raisins nestled in the rice which gave the pudding a boost of natural sweetness.  Mom would use evaporated milk instead of fresh, which made a heavenly smooth and thick custard.  Then she topped everything with a sprinkle of nutmeg and popped it in the oven.  It would be served warm after dinner but it was just as good served cold at suppertime.  

Today, sadly, I usually only make Rice Pudding if I have a little rice left over from a meal.  And that's what happened today.  I was rooting around in the fridge and came upon a small bowl of plain rice--a little more than half a cup.  It wasn't enough for a meal and I was debating in my mind what to do with it when I thought of Rice Pudding.  That was a brilliant thought!  To be sure it wasn't the 5-minute rice Mom would have used but it was rice.  To have a lovely creamy rice pudding, the experts tell us, we need a special pudding rice of a short or medium grain.  I'm telling you now, that might be so if you're entertaining company and want to impress them with your culinary skills, but for everyday eating the left over rice, long, short, or instant does the trick.  

Rice Pudding may be one of the healthier desserts to serve your family.  It's not overly sweet, and with some of the sweetness coming from the raisins it's almost a health food.  You can increase the sugar if you like a sweeter dessert but I find the quarter cup of sugar sufficient with the raisins.  This recipe is easily doubled if you have a larger amount of rice or more people to feed.  

And wouldn't you know it, the sun is finally shining now that it's almost suppertime.  I don't think it's going to rain, after all.

Everyday Custard Rice Pudding
½ cup cooked rice (a little more won't hurt)
2-3 tablespoons raisins, or more or less to you're own liking
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup sugar, or more to taste
Pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk (or use undiluted evaporated milk if you're in a bold mood)
Nutmeg to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 6-cup baking dish. 

Prepare a water bath for baking the pudding.  Place a pan in the oven large enough to hold the dish you will be using to bake the pudding.  I used an old 9-inch square pan.  Fill the pan half way up the side with water and place in the oven while making the pudding. 

Place the rice in the greased dish.  Sprinkle with raisins. 

In a medium bowl beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt together.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer.  Remove from heat and pour the hot milk into the egg mixture stirring constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs.  Pour the combined milk and egg mixture over the rice and raisins in the baking dish.  Lightly sprinkle the top with nutmeg and place the dish in the oven in the pan of water.  Bake 50-60 minutes or until the custard is set.  It will still be wobbly but baked.   Let set at least 15 minutes before serving or let cool completely.  Refrigerate any left overs. 

Makes 4-6 servings.

Place the rice and raisins in a greased baking dish.  Left over rice works well in this pudding.

 Beat the eggs and vanilla.

 Add the sugar and salt.

 Heat the milk to a simmer.  Heating the milk gives a jump-start to the baking process.

Pour the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture, stirring constantly so the eggs won't curdle.

 Pour the milk and egg mixture over the rice and raisins.

Sprinkle the top of the pudding with nutmeg and place it in the oven.  Place the dish in a pan of water.  This is a water bath or bain marie.  The hot water bath is used when gentle, slow baking is required.  This will ensure the custard  will not curdle while baking. If over baked the custard will become tough and pocked with holes.

The Rice Pudding is completely baked and set although it is still a little wobbly in the middle.  It took the full 60 minutes to bake in my oven.  When baked the rice and raisins settle on the bottom and the velvety smooth custard bakes on the top.

Now, that's pure comfort!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cheesy Vegetable Stuffed Pasta--Shells or Cannelloni

Most people like pasta. The whole world doesn't subsist on potatoes.  I'm a macaroni and cheese girl myself, but I do like other pasta dishes.  Spaghetti and lasagna are favourites at our house but every once in a while I like to do something different, or at least use a different shape pasta.  They say you first eat with your eyes so mixing up the pasta shapes will sometimes revive an old family standby that's becoming ho-hum.  

Stuffed Pasta is basically the same as lasagna.  The stuffing is similar and the sauce is similar or exactly the same.  But the shape is totally different, especially the jumbo shells.  Children love to see the shells on their plate and if anyone asks skeptically if lasagna is on the menu--again--you can truthfully say, "No, it's stuffed pasta shells (or cannelloni or whatever)."  And everyone is happy. 

This is a particularly tasty cheese and vegetable filling.  Don't leave out the pinch of nutmeg as it gives a nice subtle flavour that perfectly complements the spinach.  Have no fear if ricotta cheese is not to be found in the grocery store (or is so expensive you need a bank loan).  You can use cottage cheese very successfully.  I often use cottage cheese in place of the ricotta.  The flavour is slightly different but not in a bad way.  Any stuffable pasta will work with this filling so choose your shape and start stuffing.  Slightly under cook the pasta as it will continue cooking when the pasta is baked.

I've included an optional cheese sauce that can be used instead of or with the tomato sauce.  

Stuffed Pasta
250 gram package cannelloni pasta or jumbo shells cooked according to package directions but slightly undercooked by a minute or two.
(The shells may be in a larger size package.  Mine were in a 340 gram package.)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 heaping cup shredded carrots
1 medium onion, diced
½ cup diced green pepper (or any colour sweet pepper)
1 teaspoon dry basil
1 teaspoon dry oregano
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste

1 container ricotta cheese, 475 grams about 2 cups (or you may use cottage cheese)
1 egg
1 cup thawed frozen spinach, squeezed dry after measuring
½ cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
Pinch of nutmeg

680 ml can tomato or pasta sauce, about 3 cups
Cheese sauce, optional (recipe below)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese for top

Grease or pan spray a large lasagna dish at least 9x13-inches or larger. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse in with cold water and lay aside while making the filling.

Heat the vegetable oil in large frying pan.  Over medium heat sauté carrots, onions and green peppers until crisp tender.  Add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and let cool a little.

In a large bowl combine ricotta cheese, egg, spinach, bread crumbs, shredded cheese and nutmeg.    Add the cooled sautéed vegetables to the cheese mixture and combine well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while filling the pasta.

Place a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Spoon or squeeze filling into cooked cannelloni or shells.  A pastry bag will make this process much easier.   Place filled pasta in a single layer in the baking dish.  Cover with remaining tomato sauce.  Rinse the can with a little water and pour that over the pasta, as well.  If desired a layer of cheese sauce may be poured over the tomato sauce.  Sprinkle with the second amount of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and hot and cheese is starting to turn a golden brown around the edges. 

Fills about 18-20 cannelloni or 6-9 servings.
Fills about 38 jumbo shells or  8-12 servings.

Optional Cheese Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups cold milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir and cook over low heat about 1 minute until the mixture bubbles.  Pour in the cold milk and stir until mixture thickens and comes to a low boil.  Simmer over low heat for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.    Makes a little more than 2 cups of sauce. 

Mix the ricotta cheese, and spinach together.  Sauté the carrots, onions and green pepper in the oil adding the herbs, salt and pepper.

Combine the sautéed vegetables with the cheese mixture.  When everything is combined you will be ready to stuff your choice of pasta.

Cook the pasta while the you are making the filling.  This 250 gram package of pasta contains 18 cannelloni.  

The shells will take longer to cook than the cannelloni.  This 340 gram package holds about 38 jumbo shells.

Fill a pastry bag with the filling for easy stuffing.  If you don't have a pastry bag, use a spoon.  This recipe is enough to fill 18 cannelloni with enough left over for a few jumbo shells.  I didn't have the energy to climb to the top of the cupboards to find my largest dish so I split the recipe between two smaller dishes.  Don't crowd the pasta as it will swell even more during baking. 

I tucked a few shells in around the cannelloni in the smaller dish but I had 3 shells left over so I baked those in an individual sized baking dish.  These are baked in a cheese sauce.

This is the larger dish.  I poured cheese sauce over the tomato sauce and sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top and baked it until bubbling and golden. 

Here's the finished product.  I took the large dish to a church potluck and left the smaller one at home for another day.  I had extra cheese sauce so I just poured it all over the dish on the right.  There is a layer of tomato sauce but it's barely peeking through.

Here are the shells. They swell quite large during the cooking and baking process.  I think three make a nice serving.

The cannelloni also swells during the cooking.  You can see the tasty filling peeking out of the pasta tube.

Serve with a salad and crusty garlic bread for a satisfying meal.