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.
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.
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.
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.
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.