There are numerous versions of this classic recipe. Personally, I like the variation with two sauces, in which bechamel is used in the filling and tomato sauce is poured all around - it makes for a very colorful and attractive presentation.
If you love creamy sauces, then use bechamel by itself; if you're a big fan of tomato sauce or you're cutting calories, cover the cannelloni with just tomato sauce. In the latter case, add a drizzle of cream when you gratinée the dish - the cream will help balance the acidity of the tomato.
- Cook the onions in butter or oil until lightly colored; add the roughly torn spinach leaves, removing the stems and central vein if the leaves are large; when the leaves wilt, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Let cool, then mix in the eggs and ricotta.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water - cook until tender, not just "al dente"!
- Drain and cool until cool enough to handle. Using scissors, cut the noodles in half widthwise. Place on a work surface.
- Place a line of filling onto each piece of pasta. Roll up and place in a baking dish. Repeat the process for all of the cannelloni. Cover with bechamel sauce; sprinkle with grated cheese and gratiné lightly before serving.
- If you're using tomato sauce, sprinkle with marjoram, drizzle on the cream and gratinée lightly before serving.
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