Chef Fabio Viviani makes ricotta and spinach stuffed cannelloni pasta

Chef Fabio Viviani makes ricotta and spinach stuffed cannelloni pasta

04/06/2021

To help “Good Morning America” kick off Ultimate Pasta Week, celebrity chef and restaurateur Fabio Viviani shared a simple, Italian favorite — stuffed cannelloni.

PHOTO: Chef and restaurateur Fabio Viviani joins "GMA" remote from his kitchen to make stuffed cannelloni.

Viviani said the recipe starts off with two simple sauces — tomato and béchamel — a mix of butter, flour, warm milk, salt and pepper.

“People think it’s hard but it’s not,” he said explaining that when cooked properly over a low and slow heat while constantly stirring, “it’s very easy.”

As for the filling, Vivani said “ricotta and spinach is traditional for pasta that is stuffed in Italy, but the sky is the limit.” You can swap “anything and everything,” he suggested, like a mashed potato and ground pork mixture that his grandmother used to make.

Check out the full recipe below to recreate this classic at home.

Stuffed Italian Cannelloni

PHOTO: Stuffed cannelloni pasta filled with spinach and ricotta cheese.

Ingredients
4 Cannelloni shells or Dried Pasta Sheets
1 pound of spinach, cooked and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 pound of ricotta
2 ounces of Parmigiano Reggiano
1 pinch of salt
1 egg
Béchamel sauce
4 ounces of butter
3.5 ounces of plain flour
1 quart of whole milk
1 pinch of salt
Nutmeg freshly grated
Tomato sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
10 cloves garlic
1 1/2 canned tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil

Directions
Whisk the eggs with flour and a pinch of salt, making sure you whisk out any lumps. Pour in the milk in a thin stream and whisk to incorporate. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for approximately 1 hour.
Heat the olive oil in a pan with the minced garlic on a low flame. When the garlic begins to sizzle gently, scrape in the spinach and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the spinach is dry and infused with the garlic flavor. Add it to a bowl with the ricotta, grated Pecorino, a pinch of nutmeg and salt.
Next, cook the Cannelloni pasta in boiling water.
To make the tomato sauce, reduce ingredients together in a pot for 20 to 30 minutes.
To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan on a medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk for a few minutes until golden and toasted.
Pour in the cold milk in a thin stream, stirring constantly to avoid any lumps. Leave on a medium-low heat until thickened and season with a good pinch of salt and grated nutmeg to give the béchamel a delicate spiced aroma.
Now with all the elements ready, preheat the oven to 375 – 400 degrees.
Fill each Cannelloni with the spinach and ricotta filling or if using pasta sheets roll them up like Cannelloni.
Take an ovenproof baking dish, and line with a few tablespoons of the béchamel sauce. Arrange the Cannelloni slightly overlapping in the dish.
Drizzle the Cannelloni with the béchamel sauce, a few tablespoons of tomato purée, more grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on the sides, serve.

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