Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

Recipe Index

Often seen names

Home Page


CANNELLONI                       C.B. Original

 (Spinach, Italian Sausage & Chicken liver filling, looks complicated but really is not.  It takes a while to make the d but is worth it.  I suggest this for a Christmas Eve or other special occasion.)

 serves about 4-6 pax ( a “pax” is one people!)


3 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup water
½ tsp. Salt
Little olive oil for pan 

Put all ingredients except olive oil in blender and blend until thoroughly mixed.  Heat a non-stick, slope sided, 9 - 10-inch pan over a little less than medium heat for a few minutes.  Put in a little less than 1/3 cup of batter in the pan, swirl around to make circular crepe, cook until top is dry (do not brown).  Wipe pan with paper towel & a little olive oil between crepes.  Put crepes between layers of wax paper or saran wrap.  Makes 8 crepes . . . be careful.  If worse comes to worse, take one egg, 1/3 cup of water & flour, a pinch of salt & make a little more batter. 


2 tbsp. olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, minced
1 10 oz. Pkg. Chopped spinach, squeezed, drained, and chopped again
½# small curd cottage, drained in a strainer for about 30 minutes
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Chopped fresh oregano (or ½ tsp. dried)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of ½ lemon
2 chicken livers (freeze the rest for a later dish)
2 oz white wine             (use the one you should be drinking while making this recipe)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 # Italian sausage, skin removed
3 tbsp. besciamella (white sauce)

Sauté onions and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat in a 10 inch or larger heavy fry pan.  Add the spinach and stir for 2 or three minutes until very dry and spinach starts to stick to the pan.  Remove ingredients to big mixing bowl.  Put skinned sausage in fry pan, mash it up and cook it until all traces of pink gone.  Remove from the pan, let drain in strainer, then finely chop.  Put sausage in a bowl with spinach etc.  Drain excess oil from fry pan.  Put chicken livers in and gently sauté until firm but still slightly pink inside.  Remove livers from pan, mince and add to ingredients in mixing bowl.  Deglaze pan with the lemon juice and wine.  Add to mixing bowl.  Add eggs, Parmesan cheese, besciamella to mixture in bowl.  Mix with wooden spoon.  It is now ready to put in the crepes. 


4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper

Melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour, then add milk and cream all at once.  Stir continuously with a whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and coats whisk.  Add salt and pepper. 

ITALIAN TOMATO SAUCE (you'll need three cups of this for cannelloni)

 (you may substitute the BASIC TOMATO SAUCE with a little rosemary, basil and sautéed fresh mushrooms added)

2 28 oz cans tomato puree (Contadina)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 14 ½ oz. cans of Swanson beef broth
2 cups dry red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
2 yellow onions, minced
6 large cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs of celery, w/ leaves, minced
1 carrot, un peeled, finely grated
½ cup chopped parsley (preferably flat leaf/Italian)
½ # chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 cloves, whole
2 bay leaves, whole
1 tsp. sugar
Salt, to taste when fully cooked

Sauté onions, garlic, celery, & carrot in olive oil until they start to brown a little in a big stock pot.  Add all other ingredients, bring to a light boil, then simmer partly covered for 2 hours.  Makes about 3 quarts.  Freezes well. 

(this needs to have been made the week before so you are not doing too much beside the cannelloni)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Put 1 cup of the Italian Tomato Sauce on the bottom of a 9" X 13" glass baking dish.  Divide the filling into 8 portions.  Roll the portions of filling in the crepes and place them in the baking dish on top of the Italian Tomato Sauce.  Spread the remaining Besciamella on top of the filled crepes with a rubber spatula.  Put two more cups of the Italian Tomato Sauce on top of the Besciamella.  Sprinkle 4 more tablespoons of fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top of everything.  Put in oven for 20 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling.  Slip dish under broiler for 30 seconds to lightly brown the top.