This Italian cannelloni recipe with ricotta and spinach is a typical baked pasta from the Italian home cooking tradition. How to make it with step-by-step pictures!
Made with small variations in many regions of Italy, represent the classic Sunday's dish of filled baked pasta, and often prepared on holidays.
The success of cannelloni are due to the fact that they are versatile and tasty.
This recipe with ricotta and spinach is formed by rolled rectangles of egg pasta dough, filled with ricotta, spinach, Parmesan cheese, spices, and covered with bechamel.
To prepare cannelloni with ricotta and spinach you can buy dry pasta ready to stuff and bake, or use fresh egg pasta done by yourself, or buy sheets of fresh pasta for lasagna available at supermarkets.
1. For the filling, clean well the fresh spinach and boil in very little salted water. Then put them to drain, squeeze very well in order to get more cooking water out as possible.
2. As soon as spinach are cool, chop them finely with a knife (better Italian mezzaluna) and place in bowl with the crumbled ricotta, nutmeg, eggs, pepper and grated cheese.
Stir well and mix everything evenly, then add the salt. Meanwhile prepare bechamel sauce or white sauce.
3. Oil or butter your baking pan large enough to hold all cannelloni forming a single layer. Then spread on the bottom 2-3 tablespoons of bechamel.
If you choose fresh pasta prepared by you:
Make rectangles of dough of approximately 4x3 inches (10x8cm), boil for 1-2 minutes in salted water and then put them to dry on a clean cloth.
Put at the center of each of them a spoonful of filling and roll the dough to form cylinders that sink into the pan. The pan must be previously greased and sprinkled with white sauce, with the terminal part of the dough down.
If you choose the dry store bought cannelloni pasta:
Cook them according to the pack, then fill a pastry bag with the mixture of ricotta and spinach, and stuff all in. Place them side by side in a baking dish and cover with remaining bechamel sauce, sprinkle it with parmesan cheese.
4. Continue until the end of the ingredients, and then cover all with white sauce, sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
How to bake this cannelloni recipe:
Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes, using the grill for the last 5 minutes to brown the surface.
Ready to be served!