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Vegetarian Cannelloni

Portobello mushrooms, spinach and two-cheese stuffing

Vegetarian Cannelloni

— Marisa Zanganeh

En español


  • 12 cannelloni pasta sheets
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ pound portobello mushrooms, diced
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 20 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 8 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 plastic bag

Béchamel sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 16 ounces 2% milk, warm
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon or a pinch nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Set aside a 10 x 13½ x 2½-inch baking pan.

2. Boil cannelloni in salted water for 7 minutes (or as recommended by manufacturer). Keep sheets separated to prevent them from sticking together. Remove sheets with a skimmer and blanch in cold water. Place over a kitchen towel to dry.

3. Rinse and drain the spinach. Cut in thin strips and dry with paper towel. Set aside.

4. Heat oil in a large pan and brown onions for 2–3 minutes. Add garlic, cook for one minute and immediately add paprika. Mix until onion and garlic blend well with the paprika.

5. Add spinach and cook at medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until the excess liquid evaporates. 

6. Add the portobello mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5–6 minutes at medium heat.

7. Add the red pepper and cook for a few minutes. Make sure peppers don’t lose their crunch. Cool for 8–10 minutes. Add ricotta cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese.

8. To make the béchamel sauce, melt margarine in a pan, add flour and cook, stirring continuously.

9. Once it thickens, slowly pour warm milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumping. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste, and add a pinch of nutmeg.

10. Snip off a corner of a small plastic bag and use it to stuff the cannelloni with the spinach filling.

11. Spread a thin layer of béchamel sauce on the bottom of the baking pan. Add a line of stuffed cannelloni. Cover with the remaining béchamel sauce, and sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

12. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for 5 additional minutes until the top is golden-brown.

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