Traditional Pasta on Capodanno: Cannelloni – How to Make it


Italian cuisine often means simplicity of ingredients and procedures. But it also means great ability in combining all the specialties of the season and the territory.

However, Italians can come up with pretty complex dishes, above all on New Year’s Eve and Capodanno: the Cannelloni, a special kind of stuffed pasta, are one of them.

This is the recipe we follow in our culinary classes in the Pandolfini Estate.



For the Ragout

1 lbs of chopped meat

1 LB – Peeled tomatoes

1 Small carrot

1 Small onion

1 Stalk of celery

EV olive oil

For the Stuffing

1 lbs of chopped meat

1/2 Lb – Fresh ricotta

6 Oz – Grated Parmigiano cheese

1 Egg


Salt & pepper

For the Besciamella

8 Oz – Butter

3 Tbs – White flour

1 Qt – Hot Milk



For the Pasta

1 Lb – White flour

3 Egg yolks and 1 whole egg

Pinch of salt

Warm water, if needed


For the ragout. In a casserole put a few tablespoons of EV olive oil (enough to cover the bottom). Chop very finely the onion, carrot and celery. Saute` until the onion is soft but before it changes color. Add half of the chopped meat. Salt and pepper as desired and saute` for a few minutes until the meat turns color. Add the tomato puree, stir and bring to a boil. Add one cup of water, cover and lower the heat. Cook for about two and a half hours. Stir occasionally. The sauce will turn brownish and thick.

For the besciamella. In a small saucepan melt the butter at very low heat. Add the flour while mixing with a whip. Make sure it becomes creamy. Slowly add the hot milk. Bring to a boil at low flame. Add salt and nutmeg – the besciamelle should be thick and creamy.

How to stuff the cannelloni. Saute` the chopped meat in a frying pan at low flame. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the flame when the color of the meat turns. Wait until it cools and put it in a bowl. Add the ricotta, parmigiano, nutmeg and one egg. Mix well and put the bowl in the fridge.

For the pasta. On a wood board make a fountain with flour – in the middle put the eggs and salt. Mix and work the dough well. Add a touch of warm water if needed. The dough will become smooth and compact. With a rolling pin or with a pasta maker, make strips about 1/8 inch thick. The cut them in squares 4×4. Boil some water and put the pasta squares (6 at the time) into the boiling water. Boil for one minute, remove the pasta from the hot water, put them in cold water and then on a tablecloth to dry. Repeat the process for all the pasta squares. You should have about 20 squares.

How to assemble the cannelloni

Have all the main componets in front of you: the pasta squares, the stuffing, the Ragout and the Besciamella. Cover the bottom of the oven pan with a layer of Besciamella and a layer of Ragout. Make sausage shapes from the stuffing, about half the length of the pasta squares and put in the center of the pasta. Roll the dough and fold on both sides. Place all the cannelloni in the pan. Cover all the cannelloni with the besciamella and then with the remainder of the Ragout. Sprinkle a generous dose of parmigiano on top. Now they are ready to go in the oven and cook for 20 mins. at 400 F.