Sometimes pasta is just so appealing. For a little something different I stuffed these cannelloni noodles with a shredded, mushroom infused beef instead of a typical cheese or ragu filling. The roasted tomatoes add a freshness and a depth of flavor to take the whole idea of an oven baked Italian dish and make it even more enticing.
Roasted Tomato and Shredded Beef Cannelloni
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups beef broth
1 large handful of shiitake mushrooms (about 2 cups with stems), washed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sherry
5 tablespoons Boursin cheese
1 package cannelloni pasta (cooked according to instructions)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
In a large sauté pan add canola oil and bring heat to high. Season beef generously with salt and pepper. Working in batches, begin to sear the beef, about 2 minutes per side. Work until all beef is fully browned on all sides. Set beef aside.
Remove the stems from your shiitake mushrooms and dice the caps finely. Add the stems to a medium-sized stock pot. Cover with beef stock. Then add the diced caps to your saute pan along with olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for about 1-2 minutes. Add in sherry and cook until liquid is no longer visible. Set aside mushrooms.
Bring the stock pot with beef broth to a simmer and add in seared beef. Cover and simmer mixture for 2 hours (until meat is tender when pierced with a fork). If you really want super tender shredded beef another way of going about it is using a slow cooker and cooking your meat the night before.
As your meat is cooking, you can get started on your tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cup small diced onion
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (28 ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 (16 ounce) carton cocktail tomatoes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
In a large sauté pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add in onions and cook 2-3 minutes until onions start to become translucent. Add in pressed garlic, canned tomato sauce, and basil. Keep at a simmer.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rub cocktail tomatoes with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes then add them to the simmering tomato broth. They will easily break apart in the sauce with a wooden spoon. Continue to simmer sauce as meat cooks. Then finish with red pepper flakes and smoked paprika. Season to taste and remove from heat.
Once meat is tender, remove and shred with a fork. Discard mushroom stems and return remaining broth to the stove. Simmer until the broth has reduced by half and is nappe consistency (meaning it coats the back of a spoon when you put it in to test). Add shredded beef to the reduced stock. Add in cooked mushrooms and boursin cheese and stir until all elements are blended and the result is creamy, flavorful, and richly meaty.
Next, fill the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch baking pan (its sides need to be at least 2 inches high) with 2 cups of prepared tomato sauce. Then, carefully stuff the cannelloni pasta with your shredded beef mixture. Layer the stuffed cannelloni in rows and cover with 2 additional cups of tomato sauce. Finish with shredded parmesan cheese.
Bake in a 450 oven for 40 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!