The meat-and-ricotta filling for these filled pasta tubes can also be used to stuff ravioli, and the white sauce, known in Italian as besciamella, may be replaced by quick tomato sauce. To simplify preparation further, use purchased pasta sheets.
- 1/2 recipe basic egg pasta dough or 5 ounces purchased thin fresh pasta sheets
- For Filling:
- 2 teaspoons sunflower, safflower or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons minced yellow onions
- 1/4 pound ground pork shoulder or butt or ground veal
- 1/4 pound mortadella, ground
- 2 ounces prosciutto, ground
- 2 cups (1 pound) ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup freshly grated good-quality Parmesan cheese
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- For Sauce:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk, heated almost to a boil
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Ice water, as needed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated good-quality Parmesan cheese
Make the basic pasta dough, if using. Cover with a bowl to prevent drying.
FOR FILLING: Warm the oil over medium heat in a small frying pan. Add the onion and sauté until almost translucent, approximately 3 minutes. Add the pork or veal and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Transfer to a colander to drain and let cool.
Combine the cooled meat mixture, mortadella, prosciutto, ricotta and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.
Roll out the basic pasta dough, if using, 1/16 inch thick. Cut the fresh or purchased sheets into eight 4 1/2-inch squares. Set aside.
FOR SAUCE: Melt the butter over low heat in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour until blended, then gradually add the hot milk, whisking constantly. Simmer, whisking constantly. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan with a spatula to avoid burning until the raw-flour flavor dissipates, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.
Fill a deep pot 3/4 full with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta all at once and stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook until not quite al dente, approximately 2 minutes. Drain, then plunge into ice water to halt the cooking. Drain again and lay flat in a single layer on kitchen towels to dry briefly.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Select a 9 x-12-inch baking dish. Spread 1 cup of the white sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. To make the cannelloni, form about 1/3 cup of the filling into a log shape on the center of each pasta square and roll up into a cylinder to make the cannelloni. Place the rolls, seam-side down, in a single layer in the dish. Evenly spread the remaining white sauce over the top. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
Place in the center of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 400 degrees F.
Bake until bubbling and golden brown on top, approximately 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Carefully transfer the cannelloni to warmed individual plates using a spatula. Serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
406 calories; 26g total fat; 84mg cholesterol; 702mg sodium; 19g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 25g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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