Polenta? In canneloni? You say whaaat?
Ignore those internal forces of yours questioning what on earth you’re doing and just do it (swoosh). Put the polenta in the meat.
While I was traveling this summer with my family and Vivian’s family, we were super lucky to be able to stay in some beautiful homes, which is a change for us. But, considering that I needed to cook for all you people on the interwebs, it was a welcomed and exciting adventure. We rented this beautiful house in the literal middle of nowhere: aka an hour from Lourdes, a large skiing town at the edge of the Pyrenees Mountains.
We were there for a friend’s wedding and decided to stay in a little farmhouse outside of town instead of one of the hotels, and what an experience we had.
The farmhouse was beautiful with holes and history and all. I was totes living out of the scene from Beauty and the Beast, “little town, it’s a quiet village…” and loving every second of it. They had a brand new Super U (think European Walmart) right down the street complete with a grocery, tech store, restaurant, and hair salon.
That worked for us.
I made two meals while staying in the little farmhouse. First being this delicious beef and polenta cannelloni.
Vivian’s mom was actually the one to suggest using polenta to thicken the meat. I’d never had cannelloni without cheese and eggs before but was totally craving it. And the polenta ended up working perfectly!
All us kids pitched in and we made an absolutely delicious dinner. One of the cannelloni were covered in cheese and pesto, and then Viv’s and my cannelloni was just plain with some tomato sauce.
Don’t even get me started on how much fun we had stuffing the cannelloni with the meat. This was the best meal for us young people to get involved with and we definitely had a blast making it! We all finished unscathed besides one minor knife cut, and our meal was yum.
Since I’m writing about cooking in the farmhouse, I also haveeee to share pictures with you of our little town and area near the farmhouse.
I feel like I’ve barely shared any pics from our trip (unless you’ve seen my Facebook) and I want to change that right now.
So I now present to you some pictures from our few days in the Pyrenees:
Pretty picturesque, huh?
- 2 12-oz. large cannelloni boxes (about 60 shells)
- 3 packages of ground beef (3 lb.)
- 3 24-oz. jars of tomato sauce
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 2 garlic, minced
- 1 cup uncooked polenta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Daiya vegan cheese
- Tomato sauce
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until tender yet still firm to the bite. About 8 - 10 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.
- In a large pot on medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and stir continuously until the beef is fully cooked and there is no red left, about 10 minutes. Pour in 1 jar of tomato sauce and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Mix in the polenta and stir until the beef mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In two large baking dishes, pour half of 1 jar of tomato sauce in each. Fill the cannelloni with the meat mixture and then place in the baking dishes. Pour the last jar of tomato sauce on top, spreading evenly between the two dishes. Top with vegan cheese and pesto and bake each dish for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the cheese and sauce is bubbly. Serve warm.
Can’t forget these awesome mama’s. Take a stab at how many shots this took. Just guess.