Italian Pasta Recipes

Cannelloni with Ricotta and Spinach

This Cannelloni with Ricotta with Spinach is delicious topped off with a spicy tomato sauce.

The sauce seems to offset the sweeter flavor of the ricotta cheese and the nutmeg.

Spinach is a wonderful vegetable to mix in with the ricotta.

It adds a distinct flavor to the dish and compliments the ricotta very well.

Spinach is one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat. It’s packed with vitamins A, C and K and can be used in a variety of Italian dishes.

A couple of my favorites are spinach sautéed in garlic and olive oil or stuffed inside a chicken breast.

Also you could mix in a little Swiss chard, which gives the dish a little bitter flavor which also compliments the ricotta. The nutmeg and spinach always go well together. Top the cannelloni off with the spicy tomato sauce and serve with a crusty garlic bread or a foccacia bread topped with fresh herbs and olive oil.



SERVING: Serves 4 to 6 people.


  • 12 dried cannelloni
  • 1 bunch of long green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound of ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbls of butter
  • 1 pound of fresh spinach, washed, trimmed and steamed
  • 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 small eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Spicy Tomato Sauce

  • 1 and a half pounds of plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper



  1. First prepare the sauce by sauteing the onions and garlic in th olive oil until tender, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes and simmer for 15 to 20minutes.
  3. In 6 quarts of salted boiling water cook the pasta until al dente around 10 minutes, set aside to cool.
  4. Steam the spinach until wilted and tender, cool down and chop.
  5. In a small frying pan sauté the onions and garlic in the butter and oil for 2 minutes until tender.
  6. In a large bowl mix together the ricotta, spinach, parsley, basil, Romano cheese, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper, blending with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  7. With a small teaspoon stuff the cannelloni with the mixture and place in a large greased baking dish.
  8. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Garnish with extra parsley.







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