Saturday, March 09, 2024

Baked Cannelloni

Baked Cannelloni














Want a nice homemade recipe to impress your guests? This dish is impressive and so delicious.  They will think they are dining at a 5 star restaurant when they taste this authentic Italian dish.  Takes a few steps but I have given some hints how to make it easy.  I like to make this ahead of time and freeze it and then bake it before my company arrives.  Serve with crusty bread and a salad….. so good! 


Baked Cannelloni


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1 ¼ pounds lean ground beef

24 cannelloni or manicotti tubes

1 15 ounce ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

1 32 ounce Ragu Chunky tomato, onion and garlic

12-14 fresh basil leaves

      2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish.     Set aside.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and half of the garlic and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to small bowl. Set aside.  









Add 1 pound of the ground meat (reserve the other ¼ pound for the Ragu later) to the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 15 minutes. Add in the onion and garlic mixture and stir to combine. Remove skillet from the heat and let cool.   

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta for 6 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Spread the cooked pasta shells on a paper-towel- lined baking sheet and let cool. When cool, split open the pasta tubes lengthwise. 








In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, the parsley, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Fold in the meat mixture and set aside. 











In a medium skillet, sauté the remaining garlic in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 pound of ground beef, Ragu sauce, chopped basil, and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and simmer for 15 minutes. 











Spread half the sauce on the bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish. Add the fresh basil leaves on top of the sauce spreading around the entire baking dish.

Stuff the pasta shells with 3 tablespoons of the meat-and-cheese mixture, and slightly overlap the edges to enclose the filling. Place the cannelloni seam side down on the sauce and top with the remaining tomato sauce. Pour over and around all the tubes.












Add mozzarella on top and cover with foil.  Remember to spray the foil with cooking spray so the cheese doesn’t stick.












Bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.  Add parsley and a few whole basil leaves for garnish.  Serve with crusty bread and a side salad.





 Photography is the property of and copyrighted to Welcome Home.





NOTES: The standard box of dry Cannelloni pasta comes with about 30 tubes. You won't use all of them for this recipe.use about 21-24 of them. They are dry in the box but once you stuff them they will soften in the oven.   













You can also use Manicotti noodles, which is a bigger version of cannelloni with ridges. You would only need about 10 Manicotti tubes.

These will keep as leftovers in the fridge for 4 days. Then you can reheat in microwave. You can also freeze cooked leftovers. Simply thaw and reheat in microwave.

 You can make ahead and freeze before baking.  Just add another1/2 cup of water in the sauce recipe. Let cool and cover and freeze. To bake, thaw and then bake.









If you can’t find Cannelloni noodles, you can use Barilla’s no boil lasagna noodles instead.  You simply boil the noodles for 3 minutes, then carefully remove from the water. Lay the noodles out flat, add your filling near the end, then roll up! (I had a few cracks when I took them out of the water, but the noodle overlaps itself when you roll it up, so it wasn’t a problem).  Keep in mind, cannelloni noodles are simply tube-shaped pasta and can be temperamental to deal with once boiled. Instead of using a pastry bag to fill the tubes, I simply put some filling onto the parboiled lasagna noodles and then roll them up and bake them seam side down.

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