Artichoke cannelloni with lemon bechemel sauce

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
24 Baby artichokes or canned artichoke hearts--not marinated
2 Lemons
8 ounces Uncooked cannelloni
1½ cup Low-fat mozzarella cheese; diced
½ teaspoon Salt
1 cup Skim milk or soymilk
2 tablespoons Butter or margarine
1½ tablespoon Flour

If you're using fresh artichokes, fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the juice of ½ lemon into it. Reserve both lemon halves. Peel away any hard green leaves from each artichoke and slice off the top of each stem. Cut away the yellow leaves as close to the base as possible, then skin the base and the stem, removing the tough, green outside layer.

Remove the fuzzy "choke" (center part) with the tip of a knife and discard it. Cut each artichoke in half and rub the squeezed lemon half over all surfaces, then drop the artichokes into the bowl of water. When all the artichokes are trimmed, drain and rinse them; then place them in a pan with enough water to cover. Simmer, covered, over medium heat until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside. If you're using canned artichoke hearts, drain and set aside. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, dice the artichokes and combine with the diced mozzarella. Add salt.

Peel the rind from the uncut lemon, being careful to keep it in one or two large pieces; set aside. Juice this lemon and the remaining ½ lemon; set aside the juice. When the artichoke mixture and pasta are ready, pour the milk into a small pot and add the lemon rind. Heat until the milk begins to bubble; then remove the lemon rind and remove the pot from the heat. In a separate pan, melt the butter or margarine over low heat and whisk in the flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, stirring constantly. When all the flour has been added, continue to cook and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly add hot milk, stirring constantly. Add the reserved lemon juice. Over low heat, cook and stir until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread a little sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking pan. If you're using fresh pasta, roll each rectangle around a portion of the artichoke mixture and place the cannelloni in the baking pan; if you'r using uncooked cannelloni, prepare the pasta according to the package directions; drain and let cool. Stuff each piece with the artichoke mixture and place in the pan. Spread the remaining sauce over the top. Cover the pan with foil and bake 15 minutes.

Recipe by: Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook Posted to TNT Recipes Digest by BLAdams96<BLAdams96@...> on Mar 4, 1998

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