Cannelloni with parmesan and cottage cheese

It’s been a while since I wrote a foodie post, despite having promised one, so here is a delicious recipe the Daughter and I discovered just recently.  For a change this recipe doesn’t come from my mother, but from a little old Italian cookbook I picked up years ago [* I’ll post details of the book at the end]. Some of the details, like how to squeeze sloppy filling into cannelloni shells is all ours. 😀

Shopping list :

1 packet of cannelloni shells. [Or one packet of lasagna sheets].

1 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of cottage cheese

4 tablespoons Heavy White Sauce [don’t worry the recipe is provided and makes a white sauce with no lumps!]

1 egg, beaten

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

salt and pepper

Also plain flour, butter and milk for the white sauce, and

Onions, garlic, tomato paste  and fresh tomatoes for the red sauce.



Pre-heat oven to 375F or 180C.

Okay, let’s start with the red sauce as it requires the most cooking. For about 1/2 a kg of tomatoes, peel and chop one medium brown onion and gently saute until translucent and golden brown. Add 2 crushed cloves of garlic and saute for another minute. Add the tomato paste and stir in before adding the chopped, fresh tomatoes.  When the tomatoes mush down, add a little extra water and allow to simmer while you make the white sauce.

White Sauce. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. When the butter is melted, add flour and mix into a smooth paste. Take the pan away from the heat and immediately stir in 1 cup of milk [cold]. Then add a pinch of salt and white pepper. Place the pan back on the heat and stir until the sauce comes to a gentle boil. Simmer for 1 minute further until the sauce has the consistency of thick cream. Remove from heat.

Keep the red sauce simmering but make sure it doesn’t boil dry!

Cannelloni stuffing. In a large bowl mix together the parmesan, cottage cheese, 4 tablespoons of the white sauce, the egg, nutmeg, and the salt and pepper.

And now for the fun part! Getting the stuffing into the pre-made cannelloni shells was not working with a spoon so we tried an icing bag. That might have worked if we had had a big enough funnel thing but they were all too small. In desperation we took a square of aluminium foil, folded it in half once, and then a second time. With scissors we cut off the tip of the folded point of the foil. Then we opened one ‘leaf’ of the foil and had a disposable piping bag. Cooking origami. 😀

We went through 3 foil piping bags and stuffed about 12 cannelloni shells.

[If you can’t find the cannelloni shells you can make your own using lasagna sheets. You will have to dip each sheet into boiling water for a few seconds to soften. Drain and lay flat, placing the filling on the sheet lengthwise. Roll up and seal.]

With the shells stuffed, we lightly buttered a baking dish, spread the rest of the white sauce over the bottom and laid the cannelloni on top. The red sauce we poured over the cannelloni. Then into the oven.

The recipe called for 1/2 an hour in the oven but we left it a bit longer [maybe 45 minutes] so the cannelloni were a little mushy, but the flavour! As a meat-lover, I can honestly say I would eat this meatless cannelloni for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I know making everything from scratch seems like a lot of work, but if you make things in sequence, the whole thing only takes an hour and the result is well worth the effort.

Bon appetit mes amis!


* The Italian Cookbook by Maria Luisa Taglienti, copyright 1955


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

12 responses to “Cannelloni with parmesan and cottage cheese

  • sweetmother

    this is what i always say to writers/comedians/ bloggers and myself, “it’s not a race, it’s a marathon.” xoxo, sm


  • anneb54

    If my printer would let me, I would print off the recipe and make it sometime soon. It sounds delicious. 🙂


  • metan

    Yum! Haven’t had cannelloni for a while, I might have to give it a go, on a cooler day of course!

    (I have used those heavy zip lock sandwich bags to stuff cannelloni shells before. You snip off a corner and, voila!)


    • acflory

      Oh that would be even better. I only have those thin freezer bags atm. I should invest in those ziplocks.


      • metan

        We use them for everything. So many that I make sure I buy the biodegradable ones!


        • acflory

          If IGA has ’em, I’ll get ’em. 🙂 In the meantime… this continuing heat is making me very twitchy, especially as there are fires everywhere it seems, except near us. Please be careful. Talk to you in the morning.


          • metan

            That Aberfeldy fire is a worry. It is a long way from here but…. Hopefully the Thompson Dam acts as a giant firebreak and helps the firefighters. 42100 hectares and 34 appliances doesn’t sound like a fun night for those small towns 😦 I think they were going to bury the remains of Ned Kelly up that way sometime this week too. No resting in peace for him just yet!


          • acflory

            Don’t know if you’ve heard but there’s one confirmed death. A guy in a burnt out car. Keep seeing those images of cars from Black Saturday. I HATE summer.


          • metan

            I just heard that 😦 I have been thinking about the people in Licola all night too, the fire was supposed to impact them a few hours ago. Geez, we’ve been lucky haven’t we?


          • acflory

            Yes, very lucky and that kinda scares me. About the only silver lining I can see at the moment is that an awful lot of fuel load is now gone… in other parts of the state at least.

            I can’t help wondering though… why didn’t the authorities do something about this instead of just warning us that the rains have caused a lot of growth? Most of these fires started as grass fires. Doesn’t anyone make hay bales any more? Or graze livestock? Or use a slasher?

            I know we’re talking about huge areas of land but surely the area around towns and small communities could have been cleared? Then again I look around me here in Warrandyte and my heart just sinks. If the level of neglected fuel is anything to go by an awful lot of people must be planning to leave… late.

            As always I’m bemused by the general lack of commonsense. 😦


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