This week’s recipe serves one of the most luxurious ingredients of the season, lobster, in an elegant but super easy way. Cannelloni can take a while to make, but if you take a couple of shortcuts by using high-quality, ready-to-use ingredients, you end up with a fantastic tasting dish whipped up in a very short amount of time.
My shortcuts for this recipe? The best dried Italian pasta and high-quality ready-made pesto and rosé sauce. As much as I love pesto, the truth is that I almost never make it at home because buying enough fresh basil to make a batch would cost me a week’s worth of groceries, and I’m plagued with the inability to grow my own (it always, always, dies on me – I can’t seem to do anything about it). Also, I confess: ever since I discovered Maison Le Grand’s line of raw pestos and sauces, I haven’t really felt the need to make my own. Their pestos are so bright and fresh, they really do taste like they were just coming out of my food processor. They’re one of the very few convenience foods I actually buy at the grocery store.
Maison Le Grand recently expended their line of pestos with new rosé sauces and they contacted me to see if I was interested in having a taste. (Full disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. The products I’ve used to make this recipe were provided for free, but the content of this post and my opinions are entirely mine). Being a long-time fan of their products, I quickly accepted – especially since the new sauces were dairy-free. Yes, dairy-free rosé sauces! My lactose-intolerant tummy allows me a small quantity of dairy products daily (like grated parmesan cheese over pasta, for example), but I absolutely cannot digest cream-based dishes and sauces. I have made rosé sauce before, both using soy cream and lactose-free cream, but it was the first time I heard of commercially made lactose-free rosé sauces.
The new sauces didn’t disappoint: they taste fresh, they’re well seasoned and… they make up a meal in no time! My favorite is the Rustic variety (with chunks of roasted bell peppers, caramelized onions and sun-dried tomatoes), but for my Lobster Cannelloni recipe, I went the classic route. I simply mixed the freshly cooked lobster meat with pesto, mixed in some toasted pine nuts, and cooked the pasta in a little rosé sauce. I believe the restraint use of seasonings and sauces lets the lobster’s delicate flavor shine through beautifully. A new spring classic in my house!
Of course, you can really make this dish your own by rolling out your own pasta, and making your own pesto and rosé sauce… But if you go the easy way, like I did, I won’t tell anyone, I promise.
Pssst… Scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter to win Maison Le Grand’s full line of pestos and rosé sauces!
Lobster Cannelloni with Pesto, Rosé Sauce and Toasted Pine Nuts
1 cooked 1 ¼ lb [560 g] lobster, meat removed from the shell (making about 6.25 oz [175 g] meat)
¼ cup [60 ml] basil pesto (homemade, or best-quality ready-made)
1 tbsp [15 ml] finely chopped chives
1 tbsp [15 ml] toasted pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt (if needed)
1 cup [250 ml] prepared rosé sauce (homemade, or best-quality ready-made)
6 cannelloni pasta sheets (flat and wide lasagna sheets will also do – but not quick-cooking pasta)
¼ cup [60 ml] grated Fontina cheese
2 tbsp [30 ml] grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (omit the cheeses if you want to go dairy-free)
To serve (optional)
Toasted pine nuts
Best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Cook the cannelloni pasta sheets according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and reserve. Preheat oven to 350°F [175°C].
Chop the lobster into small chunks and put in a mixing bowl. Add the pesto, chopped chives, pine nuts and mix well so that the seasonings are distributed evenly and the all the lobster chunks are coated with pesto. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Taste, and season with salt if needed.
Pour and spread half of the rosé sauce in a baking dish that will fit the six cannelloni snugly.
Lay a cooked cannelloni sheet flat on a working surface. Spoon 1/6 of the lobster mixture at one end of the sheet. Roll the pasta carefully but tightly around the lobster mixture. Place this cannelloni in the prepared baking dish, and roll the next five cannelloni the same way.
Pour the remaining half of the rosé sauce over the prepared cannelloni, and sprinkle the cheeses over. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is golden.
To serve, divide the cannelloni between two serving plates. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, and chopped chives, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
Maison Le Grand Giveaway
Maison Le Grand is offering one lucky reader the chance to win their full line of pestos and sauces (valued at $50!). I promise you’ll love them! To win, simply enter using the form below.
Giveaway winner will be announced on June 5th. Open to Canadian residents only (sorry, South-of-the-border friends!).