Cannelloni Pasta with Ricotta & Spinach Graziani Family Recipe!

Check out this original Graziani family recipe for Cannelloni Pasta with Ricotta Cheese & Spinach! 


Servings: 4 persons


  • Fresh Cannelloni Pasta (8.8oz)

For Stuffing:

  • Fresh Spinach (1lb)
  • Ricotta Cheese (1 & 2/3 cups)
  • 2 Eggs
  • Parmesan Cheese: grated (1 cup)
  • Nutmeg (1 good pinch)
  • Pepper: ground to taste
  • Salt: to taste

For The Topping:

  • Parmesan Chesse: grated (1/2 cup)
  • Bechamel Sauce 
  •  Milk: (2 pints)
  •   Butter:  (7 tbsp)
  •   Flour:  (less than 1 cup)
  •   Nutmeg: (1 pinch)
  •   Salt: (1 pinch)

To prepare the Spinach & Ricotta cannelloni:

  • you can use fresh egg pasta, which you can make by yourself or buy, for example, fresh lasagne sheets, available at Mana foods.

For The Filling:

  • Clean the fresh spinach and boil in a small amount of salted water
  • Drain and squeeze out as much water as possible
  • As soon as they cool a bit, finely chop them with a knife or mincing knife
  • Combine in a bowl with the crumbled ricotta cheese, the nutmeg, the eggs, the pepper and the grated cheese
  • Mix and blend everything together
  • Add salt to taste
  • Prepare the béchamel sauce
  • To prepare the béchamel sauce, melt the butter into a small saucepan
  • Add the sifted flour
  • Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly to prevent it from browning or sticking to the bottom: (this is called roux by the French)
  • Now remove the saucepan from the heat and add the hot milk to the roux, stirring with a wooden spoon
  • Then return the pan to the heat, let it simmer on a low flame until the sauce comes to a boil, then add a pinch of salt and a pinch of nutmeg
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let the béchamel sauce simmer, still on a low flame, for 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally

For The Pasta:

  • Cut the pasta sheets into rectangles, about 4-5 inches (10-12 cm) long by 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) wide, boil in salted water for 1-2 minutes
  • Place on a clean cloth to dry
  • Put a spoonful of filling in the middle of each one
  • Roll them up into cylinders 

Final Steps:

  • Grease a baking pan with oil or butter, large enough to hold all the cannelloni in one layer, and spread 2-3 tablespoons of béchamel sauce on the bottom, then add in the Cannelloni
  • Top with more béchamel sauce
  • Sprinkle w/ grated parmesan cheese & bake at 390°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes;
  • 5 minutes before the end of baking, turn the grill on, so that the spinach and ricotta cannelloni turn golden brown on top

If you have ready-to-use cannelloni tubes:

  • Fill a pastry bag (fitted with a large, smooth nozzle) with the spinach and ricotta mixture and stuff the cannelloni
  • Arrange them one next to the other in the baking pan
  • Top with the remaining béchamel sauce and sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese all over
  • Bake the cannelloni at 390°F (200°C) for about 20-25 minutes
  • 5 minutes before the end of baking, turn the grill on, so that the spinach and ricotta cannelloni turn golden brown on top