Home » Gale Martin’s cannelloni a labor of love for special occasions

Gale Martin’s cannelloni a labor of love for special occasions

ASHLAND – “Twenty-five years ago, my mother-in-law Esther ‘Toots’ Martin, gave me this cannelloni recipe saying that Michael, my husband, loves it and that I should cook it for him on special occasions,” Gayle Martin remembers.

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“Thank goodness, she suggested ‘only special occasions’ because it is quite time-consuming but a true labor of love,” she said. “I have been known to take eight hours straight in the kitchen making this … Therefore, I now break it down into two or three days because so much of it can be prepared in advance.”

Gayle Martin's cannelloni.

Bechamel — ‘nectar of the gods’

Her advance prep might begin with bechamel, which she calls “nectar of the gods.”

This rich and creamy, from-scratch sauce requires due diligence as it thickens on the stove. That’s where the cannelloni becomes a couple project as husband Michael takes over at the stove, stirring to prevent scorching.

“Just when you think it’s not going to thicken, magically it does,” Gayle said. “And when it is done, you take a bite and it is really hard to stop eating more.”