“On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven pipers piping…”
I love pasta…all kinds of pasta. So when I tried to think of what I could fix for the eleventh day, my mine went to cannelloni – which if you use a little imagination, does look a bit like the instrument the pipers are playing.
Cannelloni are a cylindrical type of pasta generally served baked with a filling and covered with a sauce. The filling is often piped into the pasta, using a piping bag…thus another bow to our theme of pipes for today.
Cannelloni can be fixed a variety of ways. Some people stuff them with ground beef and cover with tomato sauce and cheese, so they look and taste similar to lasagna. One could also substitute ricotta cheese for the beef and then cover the cannelloni in a meat sauce.
Or you could go vegetarian and stuff the pasta with a spinach-cheese mixture and cover with the tomato sauce.
Some folks stuff their cannelloni with chicken, and I’ve seen some seafood recipes as well that look delicious. Basically you can stuff your cannelloni with pretty much anything. Some folks even stuff them with a sweet filling and serve with a dessert sauce…maybe a berry sauce or chocolate, perhaps with a scoop of ice cream on the side.
Or you could finish up your meal with another tube-shaped dish with a similar name – cannoli. Although actually Sicilian in origin, they are a popular dessert in Italian-American cuisine. Cannoli is a type of pastry dough filled with a sweet creamy filling – most commonly a sweetened ricotta, but one could use a sweet pastry cream or a custard. Sometimes the filling has additions such as pistachio nuts, chocolate bits, candied citrus peel, or candied fruit such as cherries.
Cannoli made a famous appearance in the movie “The Godfather” where Clemenza tells Rocco after the two had killed off Paulie to “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” Then in The Godfather Part III Connie Corleone kills off Don Altobello with a gift of poisoned cannoli.
Cannelloni and Cannoli. I’m not Italian, but I definitely could say “Buon Appetito” to a meal like this!