Your place for traditional Italian recipes
Veal and Spinach Cannelloni
Veal and Spinach Cannelloni
Cannelloni are squares of fresh pasta that are rolled around a filling, placed side by side in a pan, covered with sauce, and baked.  Cannelloni comes from the Italian word cannello, a hollow tube or pipe.  Cannelloni can be stuffed with a variety of fillings, though meat and cheese are the most typical.  They are especially popular in Emilia-Romagna but are found in other regions of Italy as well.  Cannelloni are sometimes made with crepes rather than pasta dough.  In southern Italy, both the crepe and pasta versions are sometimes called manicotti.  If you don’t wish to make fresh pasta or crepes, you can purchase dried pasta tubes in most supermarkets. Simply cook the pasta tubes and stuff them with your desired filling.  But if you have the time, try cannelloni with fresh pasta; the cannelloni seem as light as air.
Veal and Spinach Cannelloni
To make the pasta for cannelloni:
Prepare 1 to 1-1/2 pounds Basic Egg Pasta Dough.  If you are using a pasta machine, stop at the next-to-last setting on the rollers.
If rolling by hand, roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.  Dry pasta sheets for 10 minutes; cut sheets into 5 inch squares.

Lay out some kitchen towels on a flat surface.  Place a large bowl of cold water near your cooking area.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta squares, a few pieces at a time.  Cook the pasta for about 1 minute, until just cooked.  Scoop the pasta out of the water and place in the bowl of cold water.  When cool enough to handle, lay the pasta squares on the towels.
Continue cooking and cooling the remaining pasta in the same way.

To make the cannelloni:

Prepare filling and sauce recipes of your choice.  Spoon a portion of the filling across one end of the pasta sheet.  Starting from that end, roll the pasta up to enclose the filling.  Place the rolls, seam side down in a prepared baking dish.  Spoon on sauce and/or additional cheese.  Bake according to filling recipe.
Veal and Spinach Cannelloni


3 to 4 cups Bechamel Sauce
1-1/2 pounds Egg Pasta Dough, cut and cooked as described above

Veal and Spinach Filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds boneless veal, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 pound fresh spinach
1-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided


To make the veal and spinach filling:
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the veal, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. 
If the meat becomes dry during cooking, add a little water.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow the mixture to cool.

Add the spinach in batches to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook the spinach until completely wilted, about 5 minutes.  Allow the spinach to cool.
Squeeze the spinach with your hands or press in a sieve to remove as much water as possible.

Place the cooled veal mixture and spinach in a food processor.  Chop the mixture until very fine.  Put the mixture back into a bowl.  Add 1 cup of the béchamel and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese; mix well.  Fill and roll pasta squares with the filling.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spoon half of the remaining béchamel in a thin layer in a large baking dish.
Place the pasta rolls seam side down in the baking dish.  Spoon on the remaining béchamel sauce and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake 30 minutes or until the cannelloni are bubbly and lightly golden.  Place under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes if you would like the top to be more browned.

Can be made up to 24 hours in advance.  Cover and refrigerate.
Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before baking.

Béchamel Sauce

(Makes about 4 cups).


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 quart (4 cups) milk
Salt and pepper
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg


Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and stir well; cook 2 minutes.  Add the milk in a thin stream, stirring or whisking it continually.  As the milk heats, the sauce will thicken.  Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce it thick and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
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Marcato’s Original World-Famous Atlas 150 pasta machine rolls and cuts pasta dough for traditional lasagna, fettuccine, and tagliatelle at home.  Made in Italy from chrome-plated steel; Includes pasta machine, pasta cutter, hand crank, clamp, instructions and a 10-year warranty.  Easily attach the pasta drive motor and any of the 12 pasta cutting accessories (sold separately).
Great for cutting dough, sectioning crusts, scraping baking sheets, chopping veggies and more.
Commercial-style stainless steel pasta rollers for smooth rolling of pasta dough.
Oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the casseroles are also microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe for convenience