Sausage and ricotta cannelloni

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 4

By Theo Randall
From Saturday Kitchen


For the filling

  • 400g/14oz Italian sausages, skins removed and sausage meat finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 4 sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 100ml/3½fl oz red wine
  • 400g/14oz ricotta
  • 150g/5½oz parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 100g/3½oz panko breadcrumbs

For the sauce

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 600g/1lb 5oz passata
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To assemble

  • 2 x 250g/9oz packets dried cannelloni tubes
  • 200g/7oz mozzarella, cut into 1cm/½in cubes


  1. Fry the sausage meat in a large, hot, non-stick frying pan for 10 minutes, until it colours and the fat is released.

  2. Take out the browned sausage meat with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the onion, celery and chopped sage and cook for 3 minutes until soft, then add the red wine and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Return the browned sausage meat back to the pan and cook slowly for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is syrupy. Let the mixture cool, then add the ricotta, half of the grated parmesan, the egg, and the breadcrumbs. Mix well and check the seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

  3. To make the sauce, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and basil leaves and cook for 1 minute, but do not colour the garlic. Add the passata and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat, with a lid half on. The sauce should be a bit wet, as it is the sauce that cooks the pasta. Finish by seasoning with sea salt and black pepper.

  4. Preheat the oven to 160C/180C/Gas 3. To fill the cannelloni, place the sausage, ricotta, egg, and parmesan mixture into a piping bag. Pick up a cannelloni tube and put one side of the tube onto a chopping board. Cut the plastic end of the piping bag so that the hole is about 2cm/¾in across. Place the piping bag into the cannelloni tube and squeeze until the tube is full. Repeat this until all the filling has been used.

  5. Use the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to grease an ovenproof dish. Spoon some of the tomato sauce into the dish, so that there is a 1cm/½in in the bottom. Place the filled cannelloni tubes on top of the tomato sauce, then cover with the remaining tomato sauce.

  6. Scatter the mozzarella and remaining parmesan over the top, then cover the dish with foil, making sure to seal all the way around the edge. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes.

  7. To serve, leave to cool for a few minutes before you serve on hot plates, with extra grated parmesan and black pepper.

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