Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni

Word of caution: Read through first. It looks long but, believe  as well, it is truly delicious.  Don made it the other day and we did take pics but I didn’t get them posted yet. patience!


Sauce, you do need a lot

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2/3 cup roughly torn basil leaves


  • 1 lb. chopped spinach (I used fresh)
  • 1 lb. full fat ricotta
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Mozzarella, Colby, Cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • grated nutmeg, just a sprinkle
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper


  • 18-22 dried cannelloni tubes
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan
  •  1 1/4 cups shredded Mozzarella
  • basil and parmesan for garnish

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pot over a medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, bay leaf, thyme and oregano. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion become translucent.  Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

Add the wine, increasing the heat to high and let it simmer rapidly for about 2 minutes, until it is mostly evaporated.

Add the tomatoes, stock, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir then simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and blitz with a stick bender until smooth. Simmer for 1 more minute and remove from the heat. Stir in the basil and cover to keep warm.

Saute the chopped spinach with a little oil to wilt it down and remove excess liquid. Cool down and proceed.

Place the spinach in a bowl with the remaining filling ingredients. Mix, taste it and adjust the salt and pepper as the different cheeses vary in saltiness.

Now the fun begins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a baking dish(8.5 x 10.5 inch) as it will hold 20 tubes nicely.

Spread 1 cup of the sauce on the base of the baking dish. Transfer the filling mixture to a piping bag with a large nozzle. You can use a zip lock bag by cutting a hole in a corner that will hold the nozzle and now pipe the filling into each tube and place in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce  over all the tubes to cover.

Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover and scatter the parmesan cheese then the mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Garnish with more parmesan and basil if wanted.

Your family and company will have a wonderful evening and lively conversations. What more could you ask for? Oh, sorry….would you like another glass of wine?