- 60 g (2 oz.) unsalted butter
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic, finely chopped
- 5 anchovy fillets (fresh or canned), finely chopped
- 60 ml (¼ cup) white wine
- 2 bags fresh spinach, trimmed and washed (about 340 g [12 oz.])
- 350 g (¾ lb.) Tête à Papineau cheese, grated
- 60 ml (¼ cup) breadcrumbs
- 500 g (1 lb.) fresh pasta (homemade or store-bought), presented as four sheets of 20 cm x 30 cm x 2 mm
- 70 g (2½ oz.) white roux (mix of 35 g [1¼ oz.] butter, 35 g [1¼ oz.] flour)
- 500 ml (2 cups) 3.25% milk
- 1 pinch of nutmeg, grated with a fine grater or Microplane
- Salt, as needed
- 4 slices of pancetta (1 mm thick)
- In a deep saucepan heated to medium-high heat, sweat the onion, garlic and anchovy in butter. Once the onions are translucent, deglaze with the white wine and reduce until dry. Add the spinach and cook until no more liquid. Remove from heat and add half the grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper, then cool and set aside.
- In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the fresh pasta sheets about 20 seconds each. Plunge into ice water to cool quickly. Dry thoroughly and spread on a large flat surface.
- Spread the stuffing uniformly on each sheet, leaving a 1 cm border. Roll the sheets to obtain 30 cm rolls. Freeze for 1 hour. Cut each roll into three equal parts.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the roux and gradually whisk in the milk. Add the nutmeg. Once the mixture is homogenous, cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Filter the béchamel sauce through a Chinese cap strainer and keep warm in a round-bottomed mixing bowl in a water bath.
- Lay the slices of pancetta on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 15 minutes until the slices are crisp. Set aside.
- Place the cannelloni in threes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle a bit of grated cheese on top. Bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 15 minutes.
- When ready to serve, place three cannelloni on a plate. Pour the béchamel sauce on top and garnish with crispy pancetta.
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