- Cannelloni With Bechamel Sauce
- (Cannelloni Alla Besciamella)
For the Bechamel Sauce:
2 oz (50 grams) oz butter
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour
18 fl oz (500 ml) whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Salt and pepper
For the Fresh Pasta Dough:
7 oz (200 grams) plain flour, (Italian type "00" is great, plus extra for dusting
2 eggs, lightly beaten
For the Cannelloni Filling:
- 1 slice cooked ham or prosciutto, chopped
7 oz (200 grams) roast veal, chopped
- 11 oz (300 grams) spinach
- 1 oz (25 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tablespoons Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
Prepare the Bechamel Sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Whisk in the flour.
Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.
Season with salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes. Bechamel sauce should not taste like flour.
Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Taste and add more salt if necessary and season with pepper and/or nutmeg.
If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk.
If too runny, return to the heat and add 2 slices of butter mixed with an equal quantity of plain flour.
Note: For a richer bechamel sauce, replace half the milk with the same amount of double cream; for a lighter béchamel sauce, add half milk and half water.
Prepare the Fresh Pasta Dough:
Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mound on a work surface.
Make a well in the center and add the eggs.
Using your fingers, gradually mix the flour, then knead for about 10 minutes (If the mixture is too firm, add a little water; if it is a bit soft, add a little extra flour.
Shape the dough into a ball and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface or use a pasta machine to make a thin sheet, and cut into large rectangles.
Prepare the Cannelloni:
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas Mark 6.
Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.
Cook the spinach, in just the water clinging to the leaves after washing, for about 5 minutes.
Drain well and pass through a vegetable mill.
- Mix together with the roast veal, ham (or prosciutto), Parmigiano cheese and egg and season to taste.
Cook the pasta rectangles, a few at a time, in a large pan of salted, boiling water for about 5-7 minutes.
Drain on a small damp towel.
Put some of the spinach mixture and a little bechamel sauce on each rectangle and roll up from one long side.
Arrange the cannelloni in a single layer in the prepared dish.
- Pour the remaining bechamel sauce over them and dot with the butter.
Bake for 20 minutes, then leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.
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