This delicious Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni is baked in a simple white sauce and sprinkled with grated Parmigiano. It is the perfect special occasion or just because baked pasta dish.
How to make it
In a medium sized pan add butter and the cooked spinach, heat it through and cut into very small pieces. Move it to a large bowl add the ricotta, egg, half the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
In a large pot melt the butter add the salt and flour and whisk until completely smooth. On low/medium heat slowly add the milk stirring constantly until thickened.
Stuff each cannelloni tube with the ricotta mixture.
Place 2-3 spoonfuls of white sauce on the bottom of a baking pan, place the stuffed cannelloni tubes on top.
Pour the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake until golden, let sit 5 minutes then serve.
What are the best noodles to use?
I used oven ready cannelloni tubes for this recipe, but you can also use fresh egg shells or even dry ones that need to be boiled first. Whatever you prefer will work just fine. I find it is easier to stuff the oven ready or fresh egg pasta the best.
How to make a white sauce
- In a large pot melt butter over medium heat,
- blend in flour and salt, gradually add milk and stir constantly ,
- cook and stir over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble and thicken,
- remove from heat.
What is the difference between Cannelloni and Manicotti?
To tell the truth I really can’t say there is much difference. Some say Manicotti is an Italian American term for Cannelloni. Which I can actually believe because I have never heard an Italian in Italy say Manicotti.
Some say Manicotti is a filled crepe rather than a dry Pasta Shell which is a Cannelloni. Although I have seen recipes for Manicotti made with pasta shells. Some say Manicotti is filled with a cheese filling and Cannelloni with meat.
One is made with a red sauce and the other a white sauce. But I say, whatever you want to call this Baked Dish, Cannelloni or Manicotti it’s delicious either way.
What is the difference between Parmigiano Reggiano and Parmesan?
The difference between them is that Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is authentic or DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta which means Protected Designation of Origin), and Parmesan cheese is just an imitation of Parmigiano Reggiano. Reggiano is always made in Italy, while Parmesan can be made anywhere, there are no restrictions on using the name Parmesan. And don’t forget a less expensive but also a DOP choice is Parmigiano Grana Padano.
How to store them
Cooked Cannelloni or Manicotti should be kept in the fridge for up to 3 -4 days. Uncooked Manicotti or Cannelloni can be frozen in air tight containers or bags. They will keep for up to 1-2 months.
How to Cook Frozen Manicotti or Cannelloni
Place frozen pasta in a baking pan and cover with desired sauce, cover the pan with foil and bake for approximately 35 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
More Delicious Baked Pasta Recipes
So if you are looking for a traditional Italian recipe to make why not try this Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni and let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!
Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni
- 12 cannelloni tubes (oven ready, fresh or dry)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup spinach (cooked and well drained) (200-300 grams)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (250 grams)
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan (divided) (100 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 dashes pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour (all purpose)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1-2 dashes pepper (if desired)
- 2 cups milk (480 grams)
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
- In a medium sized pan add the butter and the cooked spinach, mix and heat it through, cut into very small pieces. Move it to a large bowl, add the ricotta, the egg, half the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine.
- Stuff each cannelloni tube with the ricotta mixture.
- Place 1/4-1/3 cup (50-60 grams) of white sauce on the bottom of a medium/large (10 inch/27 cm rectangle) baking pan, place the stuffed cannelloni tubes on top.
- Pour the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, raise the temperature to 425F (225C) or broil for about 5 minutes or until golden on top, let sit 5 minutes then serve. Enjoy!
FOR THE WHITE SAUCE
- In a large pot on low/medium heat melt the butter, add the salt and flour and whisk until completely smooth, slowly add the milk stirring constantly until thickened.