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Mary Berry’s Beef Cannelloni with Basil and Mozzarella

This rich and hearty beef cannelloni from Mary Berry is perfect for feeding a crowd. You can make it up to 8 hours ahead and pop it in the oven when you're ready to cook.

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Introduction

Cannelloni is a classic Italian dish, great for feeding a crowd and for preparing ahead in one dish. The filling is mince with extra mozzarella – delicious!

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Ingredients

16 cannelloni pasta tubes
1 x 125g ball mozzarella, sliced
55g (2oz) Parmesan, grated
For the cannelloni filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
400g (14oz) lean minced beef
2 tbsp plain flour
300ml (½ pint) beef stock
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
4 heaped tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
For the tomato and basil sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
½ tsp sugar (optional)
Small bunch of basil, leaves chopped

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Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6. You will need an oblong, shallow 1.8 litre (3¼ pint) ovenproof dish.

To make the cannelloni filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes. Add the garlic and minced beef and fry until browned, breaking up with two wooden spoons as it fries. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Mix in the stock, Worcestershire sauce and tomato purée, then add the thyme. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, to make the tomato and basil sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over a high heat. Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 10 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes, tomato purée, 150ml (¼ pint) water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and leave to simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes. Add the sugar, if it is a little sharp. Check the seasoning and stir in the basil. Spoon a third of the tomato sauce into the base of the dish.

Using a teaspoon, fill each cannelloni tube with the cold mince filling. Arrange the cannelloni in a single layer in the dish. Spoon the remaining sauce on top.

Scatter the mozzarella and Parmesan over the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 35–40 minutes, until the pasta is soft and the cheese has browned.

Serve hot with a green salad.

Mary’s Tips: Can be made and assembled up to 8 hours ahead. Freezes well before final cooking.

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