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Cannelloni filled with kale, smoked bacon, Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream, and chestnut mushrooms

A wonderfully autumnal recipe from Chef Gill Meller

ingredients 31 ingredients
Prep 60 mins Cooking 25 mins
user icon Serves 4 people
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  • For the fresh pasta
  • 200g type 00 (double zero) pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • A pinch of fine salt
  • 25g Rodda's butter for the baking dish and for brushing over the cannelloni
  • For the pasta filling
  • 250g curly kale, stripped from the stalk
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 150g smoked bacon rashers, thinly sliced (leave this out for a vegetarian version)
  • 150g firm chestnut mushrooms, halved and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 handful of thyme, with stalks removed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the white sauce
  • 800ml Rodda's whole milk
  • 227g Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 70g plain flour
  • 150g hard cheese, grated (you can use traditional cheddar or sheep’s cheese, I use Gouda)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tools
  • Pasta machine or rolling pin
  • Kitchen mixer with a dough hook (if not kneading dough by hand)
  • Kitchen knife
  • Large bowl
  • Large pan to cook the pasta
  • Medium pan to cook the kale
  • Small pan to infuse the milk
  • Medium pan to make the white sauce
  • Large baking dish


  1. Make the fresh pasta dough

Place the flour in a large bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the centre large enough for the eggs, and crack them in. Use a fork to whisk the eggs and slowly start to incorporate the flour, a little at a time. When you have a rough dough, tip it out, along with any loose flour, onto a clean surface.

Work the dough, stretching and folding it across your work surface for 8–10 minutes, until it is smooth and silky. Knead the dough by pressing the heel of one hand into the dough ball, keeping your fingers high. Press down on the dough while pushing it firmly away from you. The dough should stretch and roll under your hand to create a shell-like shape. Turn the dough over, then press into the dough with your knuckles, one hand at a time. This should be repeated for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and silky. You can alternatively do this in the bowl of a kitchen mixer with the dough hook attachment. Wrap the dough in cling film or parchment paper and rest it in the fridge for 30–40 minutes.


  1. Roll out your pasta

Once the pasta has rested, lightly flour your surface and, using your hands work the dough into a flattish rectangle. You can roll out the pasta using a large rolling pin (it’s hard work, but you’ll get there – go as thin as you can), but it’s easier using a pasta machine.

If using a rolling pin, begin rolling the dough as you would with a pastry crust, starting in the centre and rolling away from you to the outer edge. Turn the dough a few inches clockwise, and repeat. Keep working your way around, scattering a small amount of flour on the dough whenever it starts to stick to the surface or the rolling pin. You’ll know you’ve created the perfect cannelloni sheet when you can clearly see your hands through the sheet.

If using a pasta machine, clamp it to a table, countertop or sturdy cutting board and set the dial to its widest setting.

Take the rectangle and pass it through the machine on its thickest setting a couple of times. Fold the dough into three, as if folding a letter, and, keeping the machine on the thickest setting, pass it through twice more (this gives the dough structure). Start running the dough through all the settings on the machine, from its thickest to its thinnest. Make sure to dust both sides of the pasta lightly with flour each time you roll. When you’ve got down to the thinnest setting, cut the pasta into 15cm x 10cm pieces. This should make 8 sheets.


  1. Cook your pasta

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in all the sheets of pasta. Cook for one minute then carefully lift them out and allow them to drain off and set aside.


  1. Prepare the filling

Bring a medium pan of salted water to the boil. Add the kale, bring back to the simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes, until just tender. Then drain and when it’s cool enough. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible and roughly chop.

Return the pan to a medium heat and drizzle in some olive oil. Then add the bacon and allow it to sizzle until it’s taking on some colour. Add the sliced onion and mushrooms to the pan along with the garlic and half the thyme leaves. Cook, stirring regularly, for a further 12-15 minutes or until everything is lovely and tender. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the chopped kale.


  1. Prepare the white sauce for filling and topping

In a new pan, gently heat the milk for the white sauce with the bay leaves, onion, celery, and peppercorns. When it begins to simmer, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to infuse.

Heat the butter for the white sauce in a medium, heavy-based pan over
a medium heat. Scatter over the flour and, using a wooden spoon, work it into the butter. Cook gently, stirring regularly, for 1 minute. Set a sieve over the pan and pour in half the infused milk. Remove the sieve and work the milk into the butter and flour mixture. Once it thickens, replace the sieve, and pour in the remaining milk, then remove the sieve again discarding the peppercorns, onion, celery, and bay leaves and beat the sauce with a whisk to a thick, smooth consistency. Add half the grated cheese and the Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Stir well and take off the heat.

Add the kale, bacon and mushroom mixture to the Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream sauce and fold well. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.


  1. Fill your pasta and prepare your dish for baking

Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Lay out your sheets of pasta on a large, clean work surface. Using a spoon, divide half the filling between them, in nice even lengths applying to the edge nearest to you. Carefully roll up the pasta into neat cannelloni. Set them down in a lightly buttered baking dish side by side. Then brush the top of each cannelloni with a little more butter. Spoon the remaining white sauce over the top and scatter over the remaining cheese and thyme sprigs.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bubbling. Serve with a dressed green salad and enjoy!



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