Easy Roll-Up Cannelloni

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Easy Roll-Up Cannelloni
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Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 40 minutes

Here's a twist, or more accurately a roll, on a delicious Italian classic. Cannelloni is traditionally made by stuffing fresh pasta or crespelle (pancakes), both of which are time-consuming to make. Our fast and fun version by Carla Snyder, uses no-boil lasagna sheets, which are briefly cooked, then rolled around a savory filling of hearty sausage and cheese. Topped with zesty homemade tomato sauce, it's dinner all wrapped up.

What you'll need

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed (we used Perri Sweet Italian)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 tablespoon for the pasta water
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 package no-boil lasagna pasta (we used Barilla brand)
Notes:

Serves 6

How to make it

  1. Heat the oven to 375° F and bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  2. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook it until it loses its pink color, breaking it into smaller pieces with a slotted spoon, about 10 minutes. Using the spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl and set it aside.

  3. Easy Roll-Up Cannelloni - Step 3

    Wipe the saucepan clean with a paper towel. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook it until it is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook it until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the broth and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and cook for another 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

  4. Mix the ricotta, mozzarella, peas, Parmesan, egg, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the nutmeg with the bowl of cooked sausage. Stir to combine well, then set the mixture aside.

  5. Easy Roll-Up Cannelloni - Step 5

    Add the tablespoon of salt to the boiling water, then drop in the lasagna pasta. Boil it for 1 minute, stirring every few seconds to keep it from sticking. Drain the pasta and rinse it under cold running water until it's cool enough to handle. Separate the pasta sheets and lay them out on a clean, dry kitchen towel.

  6. Easy Roll-Up Cannelloni - Step 6

    Cover the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan with 1 cup of the sauce. Spread a dollop of the filling (about 1/3 cup) across a short end of a pasta sheet and roll it up. Put the roll in the prepared pan. Repeat the process with the remaining filling and pasta. (You should have enough to fill 12 rolls.)

  7. Easy Roll-Up Cannelloni - Step 7

    Top the cannelloni with the rest of the sauce and bake them until heated through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot, with a small bowl of Parmesan for sprinkling.
     

  8. Make It Meatless: For a delicious vegetable version of this dish, replace the filling's sausage (Step 2) with this savory spinach substitute: sauté one cup diced onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft, about 3 minutes. Add two thawed and squeezed 10-ounce packages of frozen spinach and a clove of minced garlic to the pan and cook until the ingredients are well blended, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and proceed with the original recipe.

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 cannelloni): Calories 279 • Total Fat 15 g • Saturated Fat 6 g • Cholesterol 56 mg • Sodium 964 mg

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