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1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/3 cup)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 oz baby spinach
1 3/4 cups fresh ricotta 
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto (optional), chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup) 
8 (6- by 4-inch) fresh pasta rectangles (use cake flour in dough)

Melt butter in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, whisk in flour and cook roux (still whisking) for 2 minutes. Add milk in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil over high heat (whisk constantly) as sauce thickens. Reduce heat and simmer (whisk occasionally) for, 2 minutes, then whisk in salt, pepper, and nutmeg, remove from heat, whisk in cheese, then cover pan. 

Heat oil over moderately high heat, then sauté onion and garlic ( stir occasionally), until lightly brown, add stir in spinach and sauté until just wilted, remove from heat and cool completely. 

Stir together ricotta, egg, parsley, prosciutto (if using), salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup cheese in a bowl, then stir in spinach mixture. 

Boil pasta 2 pieces at a time in boiling salted water, stirring to separate, until just tender. Gently transfer pasta to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking, then remove from bowl, shaking off water, and lay flat on kitchen towels, pat dry with paper towels. 

Preheat oven to 425°F. 

Spread 2/3 cup sauce in buttered baking dish. Spread about 1/3 cup ricotta filling in a line along 1 short side of each pasta rectangle, then roll up to enclose filling, transfer (seam side down) to baking dish. Repeat and arranging snugly in 1 layer. Spread 1/2 cup more sauce over cannelloni and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, covered with foil, in middle of oven until sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Turn on broiler. Remove foil and broil cannelloni about 5 inches from heat until lightly brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Reheat (thin if needed) extra sauce and serve on the side. Makes 8 first-course or 4 main-course servings