I am a sucker for any type of baked pasta. Just thinking about a casserole of bubbly, golden brown, cheese topped pasta fresh from the oven makes me hungry. In this recipe, delicate sheets of egg pasta are stuffed with a veal and spinach mixture, then topped with creamy bechamel sauce and baked. I added a few dollops of tomato sauce on top of my dish, but that is optional. It is just as good topped just with the bechamel sauce. This is a great recipe for entertaining as it can be prepared in the morning, refrigerated, and baked just before serving.
- 1 Recipe Egg Pasta, or 5 oz. Purchased Fresh Pasta Sheets
- 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Minced Onion
- 1 Pound Ground Veal
- 2 Ounces Prosciutto, Minced
- 1 1/2 Cups Spinach, Steamed, Drained And Chopped
- 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese Plus 1/2 Cup for Topping
- Salt & Pepper
- Dash of Oregano
- 3 Cups Whole Milk
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons Flour
- Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Prepared Tomato Sauce (Optional)
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- To make the bechamel, melt the butter over medium heat, and when foaming, add the flour and stir briskly with a whisk or spoon.
- Cook for about 2 minutes, then slowly add the milk, whisking continuously.
- Cook for about 3-4 minutes more, until it is of medium-thick consistency, similar to a runny pudding or yogurt, then remove from heat and set aside.
- To make the filling, to the heated oil, add the onion and saute until soft, then add the veal, and cook until no longer pink. Drain off the fat, and cool. In a large bowl, mix together the cooled meat mixture, prosciutto, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, spinach, and then season to taste. Set aside.
- Prepare the egg pasta, and cut into 8 (6- inch) squares. Cook the pasta sheets in boiling water for just 30 seconds, then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Place about 1/3 cup filling into the center of each pasta sheet, and roll up into a cylinder.
- Once all sheets are filled, place about 1 cup of the bechamel on the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch pan, and then lay the cannelloni's on top of this. Spread the remaining bechamel on top, dot with the prepared tomato sauce, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake until bubbling and golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Carefully remove the cannelloni, two to a plate, and serve.
Note: This dish can also be made using 1 cup of prepared tomato sauce, drizzled on top of the bechamel before baking as shown in the photo above. I use my recipe for Quick Tomato Sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 914Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 260mgSodium: 1406mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 64g