Cannelloni is a dry pasta that is tube shaped, about 3″ long and 2/3″ wide.
You stuff it with filling, cover it in a sauce and LOTS of delicious cheese, the bake.
Traditional Cannelloni that is homemade, does not need to be cooked before filling, because it will soften when baked in the oven.
I can’t find traditional cannelloni in the stores in my area.
I CAN make homemade, but for time and convenience prefer to substitute manicotti or lasagna noodles.
If using Dry Lasagna Noodles, you must cook first, simply because you have to roll them up to stuff them.
The most common variety of Cannelloni is a spinach and ricotta filling topped with a tomato sauce.
My guys aren’t huge fans of Ricotta, so I’ve adapted my recipe to eliminate it.
If you like it, feel free to incorporate it.
Heat milk in a saucepan until it starts to bubble at edges.
In another saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour, and stir well for a couple of minutes over medium-low heat.
Then slowly add the milk and begin to constantly whisk.
Don’t worry about the lumps, they will smooth out.
Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Raise the heat to around medium and let it simmer a couple of minutes and pour it into a bowl.
If your cannelloni isn’t ready to bake, cover the sauce with plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a yucky film from forming while you finish the cannelloni preparations.
Heat a skillet over medium to cook the ground beef and Italian sausage.
Add the minced garlic.
Stir until done (we prefer well done).
Drain the excess fat, and stir in the spinach and one cup of the sauce made above.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and set to the side.
When it has cooled, mix in the cheese (YUM!).
I buy ready to cook lasagna, but if you don’t, this is when you need to prepare the pasta.
I cut mine into squares.
I do go ahead and cook it though, because you need to be able to roll it!
Butter two baking dishes. Mine are square, I think 8 x 8 maybe?
Spread thin layer of sauce on bottom of each dish.
Spread out some waxed paper to add sauce to pasta.
Spread some filling over it, but don’t put it up all the way to the edge though, leave a little room.
Carefully roll up the squares, and put the seam side down in the baking dish.
Repeat until all are done.
Then, if you have any sauce left, pour it over the top of the pasta, and sprinkle that cheese generously;)
Bake 30 minutes until it bubbles and is a gorgeous golden brown.
I serve with garlic bread, and viola! dinner is done;)
You can assemble this beef cannelloni dish a day ahead and then bake it before dinner time, or make extra and freeze for another day.
HOW TO FREEZE LEFTOVERS
For leftovers, transfer individual portions of cooled manicotti to freezer containers; freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high, or reheat in the oven.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 608 Total Fat: 40g Saturated Fat: 19g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 148mg Sodium: 981mg Carbohydrates: 18g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 43g
These are a few items I find helpful in my own kitchen when preparing this Cannelloni Recipe:
Cuisinart 619-14 Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 1-Quart Saucepan with CoverOXO Good Grips 11-Inch Better Balloon WhiskLodge Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned and Ready for Stove Top or Oven Use, 10.25Anchor Hocking 8-Inch Square Glass Baking Dish with Teal TrueFit LidEssentials of Classic Italian CookingLidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian: 220 Foolproof Recipes That Make Every Meal a Party: A CookbookThe 5-Ingredient Italian Cookbook: 101 Regional Classics Made Simple
Don’t miss these other delicious Pasta Recipes from When Is Dinner:
- Baked Penne Rigate
- Sunday Spaghetti Sauce
- Chicken Fajita Pasta
- Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs