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Christmas Cannelloni

A truly festive dish


INGREDIENTS

  • Cannelloni stuffed with roast meat
  • Homemade béchamel sauce
  • Grated cheese

Cannelloni is a popular Christmas dish in Catalonia, served at most tables on Boxing Day. At Viena’s establishments, cannelloni will be the star dish on the menu throughout the festive season.

Who could refuse our Christmas Cannelloni? Delicious pasta made with eggs, stuffed with pork, beef and hen meat, covered in grated cheese and served au gratin on a tasty bed of our own béchamel sauce.

The real secret behind the success of this dish is our béchamel sauce.

The star ingredient is our unique blend of roast pork, beef and hen meat, which gives our cannelloni their unique, tasty flavour as they nestle on a bed of béchamel made in our own kitchens. This rich, creamy sauce combines to perfection with our meat filling, making each mouthful a delight to the taste buds.

Our own béchamel sauce

We make our béchamel sauce using flour, which is cooked and blended with melted butter. Our secret is the onion we add to this classic recipe, as we simmer the sauce slowly to make a roux, to which we add whole milk, stirring all the time to prevent lumps from forming. Finally, we season with salt and nutmeg to give our sauce its essential spicy aroma. The result is a tasty cannelloni dish with a creamy texture and a delightful aroma.

The origins of cannelloni

In the second half of the eighteenth century, when there was a large population increase in Catalonia, restaurants, basically in Barcelona, were largely run by chefs of Italian, Swiss and French origin, who introduced foreign dishes, setting a trend that continued throughout the nineteenth century. One of the leading chefs during this period, Giovanni Antonio Ardizzi, opened his inn in 1815, serving cannelloni. The Barcelona bourgeoisie quickly grew fond of this dish and introduced it into Catalan cuisine.

A traditional Catalan recipe that families have enjoyed since 1815.

Later, in 1903, Blancher, the famous chef at La Maison Dorée restaurant, helped to make the dish popular among all the social classes, and the habit of placing cannelloni on the table spread all over the country. But the popularity of cannelloni increased particularly after 1911, when Ramon Flo, a Catalan businessman, founded El Pavo, a brand specialising in the manufacture of pasta that is still active today.

RESTAURANT MAISON DORÉE BARCELONA. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The origins of béchamel sauce

The origins of béchamel sauce are not clear, for many claim that they invented it. The first description of the sauce is in the cookbook written by Louis XIV’s chef in 1651, though this description is believed to be based on an older recipe, brought to France by the Italian chefs who accompanied Catherine de’ Medici. Another version of events attributes the invention of béchamel sauce to Duke Louis de Béchameil’s chef.