Cannelloni di Pesto

Cannelloni di Pesto
Staff Writer
Cannelloni di Pesto
Manuela Zangara
Cannelloni di Pesto

I love pesto, and making cannelloni with it takes this dish to a new dimension! It also is a great vegetarian option and I hope you’ll like it.

See all pesto recipes

4
Servings
821
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the béchamel sauce

  • 2 Cups milk
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg

For the pesto

  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 Tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 Cups basil
  • 1/4 Cup parsley
  • 4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons pecorino romano, grated finely
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated finely

For the filling

  • 2 Cups ricotta
  • 1 1/2 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated finely
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the cannelloni

  • 8 fresh cannelloni or lasagna sheets
  • 1/2 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated finely
  • 8 green beans, boiled
  • 1 small potato, boiled and sliced
  • Cooking spray or melted butter, for the baking dish

Directions

For the béchamel sauce

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat until almost boiling.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a nonstick pot over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly until well incorporated: This is the roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Now start adding the hot milk little by little, while mixing continuously. Do not add the next batch until all of the milk is well incorporated.

Keep doing so until all the milk is incorporated. Add the salt and nutmeg and cook over low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. When ready, cover to prevent a film from appearing on the surface.

For the pesto

In a bowl, use an immersion blender to blend the garlic, pine nuts, basil, parsley, and half of the extra-virgin olive oil together until it has the consistency of a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl, add the grated cheeses and the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and mix well. Season with salt, to taste, and cover with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil to prevent oxidation. Set aside.

For the filling

Mix the ricotta, ¾ cup of the pesto, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and nutmeg together until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

For the cannelloni

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the béchamel sauce with the remaining pesto. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta sheets for 1 minute — do this in batches (I use a shallow but large pot and I cook them in 1 layer, so I am sure they do not stick together). Remove them with a slotted spoon and put them on a clean kitchen towel to cool down.

Now take 1 sheet of cooked pasta and put one-eighth of the filling along the long side of the rectangle. Put 1 boiled green bean and 1 or 2 slices of boiled potatoes on top and roll the pasta over to make a cannellone. Repeat for the remaining rectangles of pasta.

Coat a baking dish large enough to fit all your cannelloni tightly with some cooking spray (or melted butter) and pour some béchamel and pesto sauce on the bottom. Spread it well, especially in the corners. Put the cannelloni in the oven dish on 1 layer.

Cover the cannelloni with the béchamel and pesto sauce and sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes, then increase the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
22g
31%
Sugar
7g
8%
Saturated Fat
9g
38%
Cholesterol
47mg
16%
Carbohydrate, by difference
115g
88%
Protein
43g
93%
Vitamin A, RAE
441µg
63%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
38mg
51%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
424µg
100%
Calcium, Ca
927mg
93%
Choline, total
47mg
11%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
11g
44%
Folate, total
269µg
67%
Iron, Fe
17mg
94%
Magnesium, Mg
201mg
63%
Manganese, Mn
3mg
100%
Niacin
11mg
79%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
707mg
100%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
57µg
100%
Sodium, Na
1225mg
82%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
1µg
7%
Water
269g
10%
Zinc, Zn
5mg
63%

Cannelloni Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Cannelloni Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.