Cannelloni with Chorizo, Ricotta and Mozzarella

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Loosely adapted from Claudia Roden’s recipe in The Food of Italy Region by Region, this is a dish that will take you back to Italy.


8 tubes of dried cannelloni

For the Tomato Sauce

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
400g tinned tomatoes
20 basil leaves, finely chopped
1 stem rosemary, leaves only
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cider, sherry or white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ricotta filling for the cannelloni
125g ricotta
1 egg
250g mozzarella, torn into small pieces
50g freshly grated Parmesan
100g fried chorizo
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

For the topping:
50g freshly grated Parmesan
250g mozzarella torn into pieces (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 160C Fan – 180C – 350F – Gas 4.

2. Make the Tomato Sauce: Fry the garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over a gentle heat for 45 minutes or until the oil rises to the top of the sauce. Stir frequently especially as it thickens. Leave to cool. Can be made ahead.

3. Make the Ricotta Filling for the Cannelloni: Mix the ricotta and egg in a generous bowl. Fold in the rest of the ingredients.

4. To assemble the dish: Spoon a layer of tomato sauce into a baking dish that will fit the cannelloni snugly. Fill the cannelloni: spoon the ricotta filling into a disposable piping bag or plastic freezer bag. Snip the end of the bag and pipe the filling into the cannelloni. Place each cannelloni onto the tomato sauce as it is filled, nudging them together to make room. Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce on top and sprinkle over grated Parmesan. Dot with mozzarella if using. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden on top.

Make this recipe vegetarian by substituting the chorizo with 100g cooked spinach.

Cut leftover cannelloni into large cubes and fry them in a pan the next day. Squash the fried cannelloni squares in between two warm brioche buns with a spoon of mayonnaise and a squirt of sriracha or chilli jam. If you have time you could flour each piece of cannelloni, dip them in egg and breadcrumbs (add a pinch of dried oregano if you like) and fry them.

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