Cannelloni - not to be confused with the sweet Italian dessert cannoli - is a type of filled pasta commonly used across Italy today and popular at special occasions such as weddings and holiday dinners. Despite early references to stuffed pasta (or macheroni ripieni) dating back to the late 1700s, cannelloni are, by historic standards, a relatively recent invention. If rumours are anything to go by, history would have it that this shape was created over 100 years ago, in the coastal town of Sorrento by a young chef named Nicola Federico.
Today, cannelloni are often conflated with manicotti pasta, being used interchangeably to denote the same shape. The way to remember the difference between them lies in unlocking the original Italian meaning: while cannelloni translates to “little reeds” in English, manicotti, by contrast, is the diminutive form of the Italian word for “sleeves”.
These pasta tubes make for the most delicious feast, perfect for an indulgent weekend dinner or mid-week meal.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Calories per serving: 232 kcal
- 200g semolina flour or durum wheat flour
- 100ml warm water
If you need a little guidance on how to make the dough, follow along with Chef Roberta as she takes you through the process, step by step.
- Mix 100ml of water with 200g of semolina or durum wheat flour. Knead for about 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin, roll your dough out until it is about the thickness of a 2p coin.
- Using a sharp knife, cut your dough into squares around 5-6 inches wide.
- Prepare your filling. *Anything used to fill ravioli will work nicely. However, since cannelloni is larger than other filled pasta shapes, more coarse ingredients such as diced mushrooms or mincemeat can be added.
- Put a square of pasta onto a lightly floured work surface. Evenly coat the surface of the pasta square with your filling, leaving a little bit of room at its edges. Roll the dough into a cylindrical shape to create the cannelloni.
- Your cannelloni are crafted! Put them in a baking dish with béchamel or your favourite sauce and bake at 180c for 20 minutes. Buon appetito.
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