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Prawn cannelloni with fennel, dill & olives

Serves 4
PREP 35mins
COOK 30mins


1.2kg green prawns, peeled, deveined
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 eggwhites, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 cup (250ml) thickened cream
finely grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 fennel bulb, plus 2 tbsp snipped baby fronds
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 star anise
1/2 cup (90g) ligurian olives
1 quantity Pasta Dough, rolled out to second-last machine notch
2 tsp chopped dill


  Place 400g of prawns, a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper in a food processor. Process until a paste forms. Add eggwhites and process until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of cream and pulse to combine. Add remaining cream and pulse to incorporate. Transfer prawn mousse to a bowl and stir through lemon rind. Place in refrigerator for 30 mins, until firm.

2 Meanwhile, trim and finely dice fennel. Place in a small saucepan on low heat. Add half of snipped fronds, oil, star anise and a pinch of salt. Cook for 15 mins, until tender. Remove from heat and stir through olives. Add lemon juice and season to taste. Set aside.

Cut out twelve 8cm x 12cm rectangles from pasta sheets. Cover with a damp tea towel. Cook pasta sheets one at a time in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 30-40 secs, until al dente. Carefully remove from boiling water and transfer to a bowl of iced water. Drain on paper towel and pat dry.

Cut out twelve 16cm x 24cm pieces of plastic wrap. Place a pasta sheet in centre of a piece of plastic wrap. Spoon prawn mousse into a piping bag and pipe a 3cm-wide line along short edge of pasta sheet. Brush opposite edge with egg yolk and roll up pasta to enclose mousse. Press edge lightly to seal. Roll up plastic wrap to enclose cannelloni. Twist ends to seal, then roll back and forth on benchtop to make a smooth cylinder (dab a little water on bench to prevent it sticking). Knot twisted ends of plastic wrap to secure. Repeat with remaining pasta, prawn mousse and plastic wrap.

Return saucepan of salted water to boil on high heat. Add cannelloni, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 mins, until just firm. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove cannelloni from pan and drain well. Use kitchen scissors to snip off ends of plastic wrap, then carefully run scissors along length of cannelloni to remove plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, slice off ends to neaten.

Meanwhile, finely slice remaining prawns. Reheat fennel mixture on medium. Add prawn and cook for 1 min, until opaque. Add remaining fennel fronds and dill. Stir to combine.

 7 Divide cannelloni between serving plates. Spoon over fennel mixture and serve.


Gary's secrets

  • Although I love fresh pasta, such as cannelloni, capelletti and ravioli, I’m not a pasta snob – I’m also a big fan of dried pasta. The main differences between the two are that dried pasta takes longer to cook (about 12 minutes rather than 2-3 minutes) and it has a firmer, slightly chewy texture. Because of the texture, I particularly like dried spaghettini, orecchiette and strozzapreti. 

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