Chicken, goat’s cheese and wild garlic cannelloni

Chicken, goat’s cheese and wild garlic cannelloni
  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Takes 2 hours 40 minutes to make, 35-40 minutes to cook

A lovely, comforting cannelloni recipe using poached chicken, goat’s cheese and the springtime star, wild garlic.

You can learn how to forage for wild garlic here.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
868kcals
Fat
47.9g (26.3g saturated)
Protein
51.2g
Carbohydrates
62.3g (15.1g sugars)
Fibre
6.3g
Salt
1.7g
Calories
868kcals
Fat
47.9g (26.3g saturated)
Protein
51.2g
Carbohydrates
62.3g (15.1g sugars)
Fibre
6.3g
Salt
1.7g

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 600g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 fresh bay leaves

For the bechamel sauce

  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 litre whole milk
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 75g butter
  • 65g plain flour
  • 50ml double cream

For the filling

  • 250g young wild garlic leaves, washed and dried (see tip)
  • 250g fresh spinach, washed and dried
  • 25g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 12 (about 300g) dried lasagne sheets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g roasted or poached skinned chicken, coarsely chopped
  • 150g soft, rindless goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 100g hard goat’s cheese, such as Village Green, grated

Method

  1. For the tomato sauce, put the olive oil and garlic in a large pan over a medium heat. When it sizzles, add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes until reduced and thickened. Discard the bay leaves, taste, season and spoon into a 3 litre, shallow ovenproof dish.
  2. For the béchamel sauce, stud the onion with the cloves and put into a pan with the milk, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring just to the boil, then set aside for at least 20 minutes.
  3. For the filling, bunch up the wild garlic leaves and cut into thin strips. Do the same with the spinach. Heat a small knob of the butter in a large pan, add as many leaves as you can and let them wilt down before adding the rest. Cover and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until tender. Tip into a colander and press out as much of the liquid as you can. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan, add the garlic and, as soon as it sizzles, return the leaves to the pan and stir to mix. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, continue with the béchamel sauce. Bring the milk back to the boil, then strain into a jug and discard the solids. Melt the butter in a medium pan, add the flour and cook gently for 2-3 minutes without letting it colour. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Bring back to the boil, stirring constantly, then leave to simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Drop the pasta sheets one at a time into the boiling water, add the oil, then cook for 8-12 minutes until al dente. Drain, run briefly under cold water, then separate the sheets. Lay side by side on a sheet of cling film to prevent sticking (see tip).
  6. Stir the cream into the béchamel sauce, then stir 200ml of the sauce into the garlic and spinach mixture with the chicken, soft goat’s cheese, 50g of the hard goat’s cheese and some salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. Spoon the filling along one short edge of each pasta sheet. Roll up and put side by side, seam-side down on top of the tomato sauce. Pour over the rest of the béchamel and sprinkle with the remaining goat’s cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and bubbling.

delicious. tips

  1. If you can’t find fresh wild garlic leaves, you can use the same weight in spinach leaves but add 1-2 fat garlic cloves per 250g leaves. Try to get mature large-leaf spinach, not the small baby leaves.

    You could try ricotta in the filling and cheddar or parmesan for the top.

    Trim your lasagne sheets to about 10cm x 19cm after cooking if necessary.

  2. Go for a refreshing, dry Italian white such as Gavi, vernaccia or arneis.

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