Don’t mix this one up with Canolli (the Italian dessert).
I’ve always been intimidated by Cannelloni. Firstly, it took me numerous times to finally remember the name. I kept on saying Callenoni. Just like when I was younger, I just could not pronounce yellow…I kept on saying lellow. My mother probably found it cute though! Lucky for me I had a neighbour, who was probably a teenager or in her early 20’s that taught me the correct pronunciation. I remember her sitting me down on her bed and kept on repeating yellow. Finally, one day I managed to say yellow. Great accomplishment. 🙂
Secondly, it looked difficult and a whole lot of work. It ISN’T! I did cheat a little, but it’s super easy.
Cannelloni is a cylinder pasta that has been stuffed with either minced meat (ragù), spinach and ricotta or fish, laid on tomato sauce (marinara/sugo) then topped with béchamel (besciamella) sauce and baked. It’s similar to American-Italian, Manicotti.
In this recipe, I used Barilla’s Arrabbiata (spicy marinara) sauce.
- 12 tubes Cannelloni
- ½ jar (200 grams) Marinara Sauce
- ½ cup Mozzarella, grated
- For garnish Parsley
Spinach & Ricotta Filling
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 250 grams Ricotta
- 240 grams Spinach, thawed
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 70 grams Parmesan, grated
- To taste Salt
- To taste Pepper
- 25 grams All Purpose Flour
- 25 grams Butter
- 300 ml Milk
- A pinch Nutmeg
- 2 pieces Cloves
- 1 piece Bay Leaf
- To taste Salt
- Spinach & Ricotta Filling
- Thaw spinach.
- Sauté onions. Add spinach and continue sautéing for 2-3 minutes.
- Add ricotta, parmesan and seasoning. Mix well.
- Set aside.
- Pierce the halved onion with cloves and bay leaf (oignon pique).
- Lightly toast flour in a medium sized pot. Do not brown the flour.
- Once it starts smelling like toasted nuts, add butter. Stir well. (This is now called roux)
- Cook roux till it smells like again, toasted nuts.Whisk milk 300ml at a time into the roux, till combined.
- Continue mixing in the rest of the milk, bring to the boil.
- Add oignon pique.
- Season with nutmeg and salt.
- Set aside for at least 15 minutes. Discard oignon pique before using.
- Assembling Cannelloni
- Pre-heat oven to 190°C (375°F) – or go according to instructions on box of the Cannelloni’s.
- Grease a glass dish (13 x 9-inch).
- Spread marinara sauce onto dish.
- Add spinach and ricotta mixture into a piping bag or a small bag (snip off one side of the edge) and fill the Cannelloni’s.
- Arrange filled Cannelloni’s on marinara sauce.
- Once done, pour béchamel over Cannelloni’s.
- Sprinkle some mozzarella on top (optional) and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.