Italian Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni

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Italians are world famous for their pasta dishes. And this Italian Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni recipe is an example of classic pasta at its finest!

Italian Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni Public Domain

Italian Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni Recipe-


(serves 6)

  • 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
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 32 oz. canned Italian plum tomatoes
  • 6 or 8 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine, plus more full leaves of fresh basil for garnish
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium flame in a large, deep skillet.
  3. Add in half of the minced garlic and the chopped onion, and sauté for about 5-6 minutes, until translucent and fragrant.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Serve your Italian Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni while nice and hot, garnished with some fresh basil leaves.

Note: This recipe is taken from our Italian Cuisine page.

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18 thoughts on “Italian Ricotta and Meat Cannelloni

  1. I’ve been thinking of trying my hand at Italian cuisine, and this looks like it’s not too difficult. Also so yummy looking,too! lol

  2. Glad I found your site, wow! So many great recipes from all over the world. I’ll be back often, but right now, I just gotta whip up a batch of this dish!

  3. Really like this recipe, I tried it, I was afraid it would be a little difficult to pull off, but I followed the directions and it came out great – thanks!

  4. This sounds soooooo delish! Been wanting to find a new pasta dish, so this one is on the menu, for sure.

  5. I’ve been looking for some good Italian dishes to make. Thanks for this one, it sure looks tasty.

  6. Much as hubby and I love pasta dishes, and Italian food in general – this one’s gotta be perfect! Gonna whip this one up for Sunday dinner – yum! 🙂

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