Tomato and Mozzarella Cannelloni
Pasta is the answer to everything. Need a comfort food after a long day? Chicken alfredo or chicken parmesan. An easy and quick dinner where the kids won’t complain? Spaghetti and meatballs. The richest and most decadent addition to a meal? Creamy and cheesy mac and cheese. An easy yet luxurious-looking meal to impress a date? Tomato and mozzarella cannelloni.
There’s something about pasta that makes me super excited to cook. I love making my own sauce, but I also love finding delicious jars of unique combinations at the store. From vodka sauce to basic garlic alfredo, there’s something satisfying when making the perfect pasta.
And if you’re like me and enjoy new techniques and recipes involving noodles, then check out this super simple dish. You can prep this in the morning, the day before, or a few minutes before plopping it in the oven for a super easy meal. The meal is packed with cheese and is perfect to create during these next winter months.
RELATED: Best Pea Soup Recipe
Heat the oven to 400F, or 200C
Using half the packet of fresh basil, mix in a small bowl with the tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
If you have mozzarella pearls, separate them. If you have just a ball of mozzarella, cut into small sections. Chop the rest of the basil leaves into fine slices.
Using a large bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with the mozzarella balls and sliced basil.
Drain the sun-dried tomatoes then chop them into smaller pieces and mix in with the ricotta, mozzarella balls, and basil. Once mixed put into the fridge to refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Grab your casserole dish and alfredo, or white sauce. Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with a thin layer of sauce.
Take the filling out of the fridge gather the cannelloni tubes and begin to fill. The best way to do this (personally) is to use a small teaspoon, use the spoon for filling, and use the other end to push the mixture inside the tubes. This can be fiddly so give yourself 10 minutes to do so!
Line up the cannelloni tubes into the bottom of the casserole dish over the white sauce, then cover it with a layer of the tomato puree mixture. You should use about half of it. Then place another layer of cannelloni tubes on top, covering this layer with the rest of the puree mixture. Use the rest of the white sauce and then sprinkle with grated mozzarella and parmesan.
Put into the oven for about 25 minutes or whenever the tubes are fully cooked. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes then serve!
CHECK OUT: Easy Egg Bites Two Ways
Difference Between Cannelloni and Manicotta?
I grew up with manicotti and had no idea what cannelloni was until I was out on my own. And while I haven’t made the most authentic recipes, I do love them both. If you’re curious what the main difference is, and if you can interchange them in this recipe, then read on to learn.
The two seem incredibly similar, especially in the preparation of the meal. Thankfully, you can interchange them within this recipe. You can even use lasagna noodles in this recipe! But what is the main difference between the two if they’re interchangeable here? Well for starters, cannelloni uses smooth, flat pasta sheets rolled around the filling while manicotti has a ridged, tubular pasta shape.
Another big difference is that various recipes have manicotti precooked before being stuffed and prepared for the oven, while cannelloni allows more flexibility, giving you the option to use be cooked or used dry before preparing for filling. Lastly, manicotti traditionally incorporates ricotta cheese and spinach in its filling, while cannelloni offers a broader selection and variety such as meat, vegetables, and cheeses for its filling.
Penne Alla Casa