Cannelloni – large tubes stuffed with meat, vegetables, or cheese and baked in a tomato or cream sauce – is one of the most iconic Italian recipes. Originally from the Emilia Romagna region, this dish is prepared all over Italy and beyond. This particular recipe with minced beef, chicken and pork is one of the most traditional ways to prepare this delicate and delicious first course meal, but there are endless variation options. Cannelloni can be prepared for example with spinach and ricotta, or with more adventurous fillings, like shrimp and cream. You can also prepare it in advance, and just pop it into the oven when you’re ready to eat. Cannelloni can be stored in the fridge, sealed in an airtight container, for about 2-3 days. Serve cannelloni with a refreshing salad, and make sure you enjoy the taste of every single bite – it tastes like summer’s first peach.
2 Italian pork sausages, casing removed
1 chicken fillet
50 gr/ 1 2/3 oz Parma ham
1 onion, sliced
50 gr/ 1 2/3 oz Parmigiano
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
200 gr/ 7 oz minced beef
300 gr/ 10.5 oz flour
3 large eggs
(alternatively, ready-made cannelloni)
5 dl/ 2 cups fresh milk
40 gr/ 1 1/3 butter
30 gr/ 1 oz flour
freshly ground nutmeg
salt to taste
25 gr/ 2/3 oz grated Parmigiano
salt to taste
fresh basil leaves
300 gr/ 10.5 oz passata di pomodoro
Start with the pasta. Put the flour in a large bowl, make a hole in the middle where you place the eggs. Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.
Meanwhile, saute the onion until it becomes golden and add the minced beef, sausage, Parma ham and the minced chicken. Continue frying for a few minutes, stir occasionally, and season with salt and pepper. If the pieces are too big, you can grind them in a mixer or a food processor. Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool down before adding the eggs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Knead with your hands. At this point the mixture should be fairly dry.
Prepare the tomato sauce by heating olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and the passata di pomodoro. Cook for ca. 10-15 minutes over medium heat, then take the pan from the heat and add the fresh basil leaves. Prepare the Béchamel sauce.
Cut the already prepared pasta sheet into 10 rectangular sheets. Boil the sheets in salted water for about 3-4 minutes, and drain. Let them rest on a clean cloth.
Put some of the filling into the center of each pasta sheet, then roll them shut. Place the rolls into a baking dish and pour some tomato sauce over. Once you have filled all the rolls, pour the Béchamel sauce over, then add a few tablespoonfuls of tomato sauce. Finish by sprinkling Parmigiano. Bake the cannelloni in the oven, preheated to 180C/355F, for about 40 minutes. Let the cannelloni rest for about 10 minutes before serving.