Two sauce beef, spinach and ricotta cannelloni

About this recipe: Cannelloni pasta tubes filled with the beautiful mixture of beef mince, spinach and ricotta cheese, covered with both red and white pasta sauces and Parmesan, baked to a luscious finish. A favourite for more casual dinner parties and gatherings, this one takes a wee bit more graft, but it's well worth it!

markblau

Ingredients

Serves: 7 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 80g chopped onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 450g beef mince
  • salt to taste
  • 300g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 350g cannelloni pasta tubes
  • 500g ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 700ml tomato pasta sauce, divided
  • 30g butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock granules
  • 240ml milk
  • 240ml double cream
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 40g grated Parmesan cheese

Method

Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr50min 

  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent, then sauté garlic for 1 minute and stir in beef mince. Cook until well browned and crumbled, season with salt to taste and set aside to cool.
  2. Cook spinach according to frozen spinach packet directions. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add pasta and parboil until half cooked, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and cover with cool water to stop the cooking process and prevent pasta from cracking.
  3. To the beef mince mixture add the cooked spinach and ricotta cheese. When the mixture is cool, add the beaten eggs. Spread 50ml tomato pasta sauce in the bottom of a 20x30cm baking dish. Gently drain the pasta tubes and carefully fill each one with the meat and cheese mixture; place in prepared dish. Lightly cover the dish with clingfilm or a clean, damp towel to prevent pasta from cracking.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  5. Prepare the white sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and chicken stock granules. Increase heat to medium high and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble. Stir in milk and cream and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Pour or ladle the sauce evenly over the cannelloni.
  6. Stir the basil into the remaining tomato pasta sauce. Carefully pour or ladle over the white sauce, trying to layer the sauces without mixing.
  7. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, remove cover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes more.

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