Italians are world famous for their pasta dishes. And this Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni recipe is an example of classic Italian pasta at its finest!
Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni Recipe-
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
- 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1-1/4 lb. lean ground meat (combined pork, veal and beef)
- 24 cannelloni shells (or manicotti shells, will work also)
- 1-1/2 lb. ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated, good quality, aged Asiago cheese
- 8 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 32 oz. canned Italian plum tomatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine, plus more full leaves of fresh basil for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium flame in a large, deep skillet.
- Add in half of the minced garlic and the chopped onion, and sauté for about 5-6 minutes, until translucent and fragrant.
- Now move the onion to the outsides of the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, add in the ground meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned – about 15 minutes should do it. Remove from the burner and set aside to cool.
- Cook the pasta for about 6 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water – this will stop it from cooking any further. Spread the cooked pasta shells on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and allow to cool. When cooled enough to handle, splice the pasta tubes open lengthwise.
- Combine the eggs, ricotta, parsley, 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Next, fold the combined ground meat into the mixture.
- Use a blender or food processor to puree the tomatoes in until smooth. In a medium-sized skillet over medium flame, cook the rest of the minced garlic in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft – about 2 minutes should do it.
- Add and stir in the pureed tomatoes, the chopped basil, and the remaining 1/4 cup Asiago cheese; simmer for 5 – 6 minutes. Spread half the sauce onto the bottom of a sturdy, slightly walled baking sheet.
- Stuff the pasta shells with the meat-and-cheese mixture, about 3 tablespoons in each, and fold the shell outside edges over the filling. Overlap the edges enough to encase the filling. Place the cannelloni, seam side down, on the sauce; top with the remaining tomato sauce and some slices of mozzarella. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Serve your Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni while nice and hot, garnished with some fresh basil leaves.
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