Stuffed with classic bolognese sauce and topped with creamy homemade béchamel sauce, this is the best cannelloni bolognese recipe - a huge family favourite!
This is one of those recipes I've been wanting to post for some time and I thought it would be the right time to do so, especially following my recent vegan pasta recipe.
Cannelloni Bolognese, like lasagne, has been a family classic in our household for some time now and it's one of those comforting recipes I will always go back to on Sundays or special days. It combines those elements we all love in a perfectly baked pasta dish; good pasta, delicious meat sauce, topped up with béchamel sauce, cheese, and fresh parsley. It's really easy to do and only requires a few steps, so if you are looking for The Best Cannelloni Bolognese out there, then I suggest you to read on and try this!
This recipe consists of three main parts: the bolognese sauce, the béchamel sauce, and filling and baking the cannelloni. You may come across traditional Italian recipes of cannelloni filled with ricotta and spinach,(which I'm planning to post in the future), but this recipe uses a delicious bolognese sauce with tomato passata, dried herbs and spices.
First, you need to prepare the bolognese sauce. In the meantime, you can start preparing the béchamel sauce. The cannelloni are then filled with the bolognese mixture one by one, topped with béchamel sauce, and baked in a preheated oven for half an hour. Once out of the oven, cannelloni are topped with chopped fresh parsley and served warm!
Ingredients needed for The Best Cannelloni Bolognese
For the bolognese sauce, you will need:
- Dried cannelloni pasta
- Ground lean beef
- Olive oil
- Red Bell Pepper
- Italian Seasoning
- Dried Chilli
- White wine
- Vegetable stock
- Tomato passata
For the béchamel sauce, you will need:
- Shredded Cheese (cheddar or emmental)
- Parmesan Cheese
- Fresh Parsley
Its very important to add some liquid around the cannelloni before baking, This will be absorbed by the pasta as it cooks in the oven. Make sure to check the pasta as its being baked and add some water if it dries up completely. Its perfectly fine if the pasta is slightly crunchy on top. I also like to add some extra liquid when preparing the bolognese sauce, and then use this as base liquid in the baking dish.
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The Best Cannelloni Bolognese
- 250 g 1 pkt. dried cannelloni pasta
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 500 g lean ground beef
- 1 scallion chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- ½ red bell pepper finely chopped
- 500 g tomato passata
- 1 cup vegetable stock (240mL)
- 1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. oregano dried
- ¼ tsp. dried chilli
- 4 tbsp. white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. butter
- ½ cup. shredded emmental or cheddar cheese
- 1 cup semi-skimmed or whole milk 240 mL
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ cup. parmesan cheese
- ½ - 1 cup water 120-240mL
- fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375 F). Prepare a large baking tin or ovenproof dish (place empty dry cannelloni to ensure correct size of tin/dish).
- In a large non-stick skillet, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and cook ground beef on medium heat until browned throughout (about 7 minutes). Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat while cooking. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Using the same skillet, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and saute scallion and garlic for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add carrot, red bell pepper, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, chilli, and oregano and cook vegetables until soft. Add white wine and deglaze skillet.
- Add tomato passata, beef, and vegetable stock and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes until reduced. It's completely fine if the mixture is slightly watery - this "extra" liquid will be used later on.
- In the meantime, prepare the béchamel sauce. In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, melt the butter and slowly add the flour, whisking thoroughly as you go.
- Add the milk and nutmeg and stir the mixture continuously and bring to a simmer. The sauce should start to thicken up. Turn off heat and shredded add emmental or cheddar cheese.
- Spoon any "extra" liquid from the bolognese sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon bolognese mixture into dry cannelloni tubes. Place 4-5 teaspoonfuls of sauce into each tube.
- Lay each cannelloni tube into baking dish, placing cannelloni as close as possible next to each other.
- Pour ½ - 1 cup of water in baking dish around cannelloni so that they are at least half-way surrounded by water.
- Pour béchamel sauce on top of cannelloni, and spread sauce to cover the whole dish. Add grated parmesan cheese on top and bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes until the pasta is tender and the top is golden-brown. Add some water around pasta if it starts to dry out during baking. A slightly crispy top should be fine, depending on taste.
- Remove from oven and top with fresh parsley. Serve warm and enjoy!