I made these cannelloni using the filling we use in Portugal for “Rissóis de Camarão” which are fried prawn patties. I love seafood and these cannelloni just bring back the memories of very fresh seafood from Portugal.
The big difference is the filling - the Béchamel is made with the prawns stock so the prawn taste is really strong. You can also make individual portions like one of the photos posted. —Maria Teresa Jorge
6 - 8
Prawns and Prawn Stock
very fresh large prawns with skin and heads
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
whole garlic cloves with pink skin on lightly crushed (they have to open a little but hold together)
Peel and remove the heads of the prawns. Keep the heads of the prawns and discard the skins. Devein the prawns, wash and dry them. Using a skewer or toothpick, put 3 or 4 prawns in each, season with a pinch of salt and set aside.
For the prawn stock:
Put a kettle on to boil water.
In a pan, heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil with the chilli and the stalks of parsley. When the oil starts to sizzle, add the prawns’ heads and let them get some colour. Add the garlic and shallots, stir and cook for 2 minute. Then add the carrots, stir well, fry another minute.
Cover the prawns and vegetables with boiling water (about 2 cups of water) and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook 15 minutes. Uncover the pan, season with salt and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes, over low heat.
Allow to cool a bit, discard the chilli and parsley stalks. Gently pour the prawns’ heads and vegetables and water in a food blender, leaving the last part of water in the pan as it normally has sand from the heads of the prawns. Completely liquidise into a purée – it will be quite thick.
Strain this purée through a very fine mesh sieve, pressing with the back of a ladle to press out all the liquid. Discard the solids in the sieve and reserve your prawn stock.
For the prawn Béchamel: Warm up the milk.
In a pan melt the butter. When it starts getting blond add the sifted flour and whisk well. Add 400 ml of prawn stock and the 2500 ml of warm milk and stir continuously until very smooth. Cook for 12 minutes over medium low heat whisking constantly. Season with salt and some lemon juice, add the chopped parsley and mix well.
In a large frying pan, add the crushed garlic cloves. When they start to sizzle add the prawns in the skewers and fry until light golden brown on one side, turn and brown the other side. As you can imagine, the skewers are used to make life easy and turn the prawns 4 or 5 in one go. Remove the prawns from the frying pan, remove from the skewers and cut the prawns in bite size pieces.
Cook the lasagna sheets in a big pot of water, salt and 1 tablespoon of Canola Oil. Remove with skimmer and put in a bowl of cold water with salt and 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil to stop cooking. Drain and dry on a clean kitchen cotton or linen tea towel.
Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF. Butter a baking dish.
Divide the béchamel so you have 1/3 in a bowl and 2/3 in another bowl. Add the cut up cooked prawns to the 2/3 prawn béchamel sauce.
Divide the béchamel with prawns on 16 lasagna sheets, making a line on the the edge of each lasagne and roll.
Put some plain prawn béchamel sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, then the rolled prawn cannelloni, seam side down, cover with the remaining plain prawn Bechamel sauce (with no prawns inside), divide the tomato sauce on top, sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
Turn off the oven and open the door half way. Allow the cannellonis to remain in the turned off oven for 10 minutes. Then serve with a green salad.