Leek cannelloni with lemon thyme and provolone piccante

Luxurious yet inexpensive, Rick Stein's baked pasta dish showcases the buttery flavour and melting tenderness of gently stewed leeks
By Rick Stein
Leek cannelloni with lemon thyme and provolone piccante
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the cheese sauce

  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 cloves
  • 450 ml milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 150 g provolone cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1 egg yolk

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar

For the cannelloni

  • 50 g butter
  • 900 g leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp leaves lemon thyme
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 250 g ricotta cheese
  • 250 g fresh lasagne sheets

Tips and Suggestions

Provolone piccante is a sharp, dry, mature cheese from the north of Italy. If you can't find it, other good cheeses for this recipe would be Beaufort and Gruyère.

Method

1. For the cheese sauce: stud the onion with the cloves and put it into a saucepan with the milk, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Bring the milk to the boil then set it aside for 20 minutes to infuse.

2. For the tomato sauce: heat the oil in a medium-sized pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until softened. Add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 1520 minutes, stirring now and then, until reduced and thickened. Put the vinegar and sugar into a small pan and boil rapidly until reduced to 1 teaspoon. Stir into the tomato sauce with some salt and pepper to taste, then spoon the sauce over the base of a large, shallow ovenproof dish.

3. For the cannelloni: melt the butter in a large pan. Add the leeks, garlic, thyme and water and cook gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes, until the leeks are tender and the excess liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Beat in the ricotta cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the sheets of lasagne one at a time, then take the pan off the heat and leave them to soak for 5 minutes. Drain well and leave to cool.

5. Spoon some of the leek filling along one short edge of each lasagne sheet and roll up. Arrange the cannelloni seam-side down on top of the tomato sauce in the ovenproof dish.

6. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Strain the milk for the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan, add the flour and cook over a medium heat for 1 minute. Gradually beat in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring, and leave to simmer very gently over a low heat for 10 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream, 75g of the grated provolone, the egg yolk and some seasoning to taste.

7. Pour the cheese sauce over the cannelloni, sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Buy Rick's Guide to the Food Heroes of Britain

Rate This Recipe

1
2
3
4
5