Home   Back


Cannelloni with Chicken,
Sausage and Almonds

Serves 6-8

22 dried cannelloni shells
Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray

For sauce:
3 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
3 tbsp flour
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated provolone cheese
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
(or Parmesan)
Salt and pepper to taste

For filling:
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
One lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper
All purpose flour
3 cloves garlic, chopped
(or 1-1/2 tsp jar chopped garlic)
One lb Italian sausage, casing removed
(hot or sweet, your preference)
One 10 oz pkg. frozen spinach,
thawed and very well drained
2 lb ricotta cheese
1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
3/4 cup plus 1/2 cup grated
pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5 plum tomatoes, chopped

Cook cannelloni shells in a large pot of boiling, salted water as directed on package. Cut 6 minutes from cooking time. Drain well and very lightly coat with olive oil (or cooking spray) to prevent sticking.

For sauce:
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute longer. Add stock and cream. Cook until boiling and thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Romano cheese, stirring until melted. Season with salt and pepper, cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap and set aside.

For filling:
Heat 4 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and sauté until well browned and cooked through. When cool enough to handle, dice into very small pieces.

In same skillet, heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and add garlic. Sauté until just beginning to brown. Add sausage, breaking up large pieces and sauté until sausage is well browned. Drain off all fat.

Combine chicken, sausage, spinach, ricotta, almonds, 3/4 cup Romano cheese, egg and nutmeg. Stir until all ingredients are well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking pan well with cooking spray.

To assemble:
I find using a pastry bag with no tip attached is the easiest way to fill the cannelloni, but you can also use a large spoon. Fill the cannelloni, leaving a very slight border on each end. Pour a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange the stuffed cannelloni in a single layer over the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes, and pour the remaining sauce over the cannelloni. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Romano cheese. Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until well browned and bubbly.

Let sit 10 minutes before serving to set.