Cannelloni Verdi with Spinach and Beef
If you love lasagna but want something different here is a great cannelloni recipe for Sundays as well as any special occasion like birthdays or Christmas and New Year. This recipe takes a little longer than our usual recipes but it’s worth it :). Plus, you can enjoy the leftovers the next day or two.
Ingredients (makes 16-18 cannelloni)
- artisan cannelloni
- 250 gr beef mince
- 750 gr spinach (if frozen take them out to defrost the day before)
- half a large onion
- 4 cloves garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic pate`
- 500 gr bechamel sauce
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- salt, pepper, nutmeg for seasoning
- high quality extra virgin olive oil
Start by peeling and cutting your garlic finely. Do the same with the onion.
Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil in a large pan, add the garlic and onion, and leave to saute` until golden brown.
Next add the beef mince, season with salt and pepper, drizzle some more extra virgin olive oil, and mix. Leave to cook for 10 minutes.
If you are using frozen spinach, make sure you have defrosted them. The best way is to place them on a colander over a bowl, so that the excess water is collected in the bowl. When you are about to use them take a large wooden spoon and start pressing them while they are still in the colander. That will remove any extra water. Repeat a few times.
It’s time to add your spinach to the pan with the beef, garlic and onion. Mix well and leave to cook for 5 minutes.
Next, take the beef spinach filling for your cannelloni and split into two bowls. To one bowl add the parmesan, and to the other add the basil pesto.
It’s time to assemble the cannelloni. If you can have someone to help you, that would save you time and make the process faster. It’s also a great way to spend some quality time with someone you love.
Fill half the cannelloni with one filling, and the other half with the other filling. Make sure to place them on different plates so you know which is which.
Once ready, make your bechamel sauce from scratch or use packaged one if your prefer. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Take a medium large casserole, spread some bechamel at the bottom, and start layering the cannelloni, alternating between the two types.
Once you have layered the first level of cannelloni, top with bechamel sauce, and continue with another layer.
Then finish by topping with the remaining bechamel sauce and season with black pepper.
Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes at 185 degrees Celcius.
Take out of the oven, serve and enjoy.
You can serve it with a sprinkle of parmesan. And if you want some extra flavour, you can dice a few cherry tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and drizzle some olive oil, place them on top of the cannelloni, and place the casserole under the grill for a few minutes. When you take them out serve them with a sprinkle of parmesan and enjoy.