If you and your friends or family have fond memories of several of the dishes served at the Crust, then you may enjoy trying to recreate this cannelloni recipe at home. Enjoying dinner at home around the dinner table is a rare occasion for many people. Most of us are trying to juggle working and carving out some downtime for fun. Cooking this cannelloni dish with friends can be a fun experience.

First, buy all cannelloni recipe ingredients, then divide up the tasks of who is making what or preparing/assembling a part of the dinner dish. One person can be in charge of the sauce, which can be made ahead of time.

Another person makes the filling of the cannelloni.  Another person is responsible for filling or stuffing the cannelloni and arranging them into the baking dish.  Finally, the sauce person needs to step in as instructed in the recipe.

Although the cannelloni recipe calls for a buttered dish, another option is adding a thin layer of sauce on the base of the baking bowl then place the cannelloni in a row on top of the sauce, then follow the recipe with a final helping of sauce across the top.  We like to add some fresh roughly chopped Italian parsley sprinkled across the top when the dish is ready to be served.  The bright green color of parsley gives the meal on your plate a beautiful presentation.

Buon Appetito!

Crab and Ricotta Cannelloni Recipe


  • 1 box (8 ounces) manicotti or cannelloni pasta (about 12 cubes )
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cups for sprinkling
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
  • Sauce, Recipe follows


  1. Take a large pot and add salted water, bring it to a boil over high heat. Put the pasta into it and simmer until tender but hard to the bite, occasionally stirring around 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
  2. In a large bowl, egg yolk, salt,  mix crab, ricotta, 3/4 cup Parmesan, basil, and pepper together.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Fill out the cannelloni with the crab mix and put in a buttered baking bowl. Top the stuffed cannelloni with the Bechamel Sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake till bubbly and the top is golden brown, around 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
  5. Sauce

Red Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped onions
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, peeled,  chopped, seeded
  • 1 28-ounces can Italian-style berries
  • 1/3 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar


For sauce:

  1. Put oil over medium-high heat in a big pot. Add onions and garlic and sauté about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add fresh tomatoes preserved with their juices, bay leaf, thyme, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper and bring to boil. Lessen heat and cook till sauce is reduced to limited 5 cups, occasionally stirring about 45 minutes.
  3. Discard bay leaves.
  4. Working in small batches, puree sauce in a blender; return to pot.
  5. Add vinegar and cream and simmer 15 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with pepper and salt.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cooking cannelloni recipe with friends
Image by Pierre Gilbert

Use Bechamel As An Optional White Sauce

If you rather not have a creamy red tomato-based sauce on your Cannelloni then make a Bechamel sauce or white sauce.  Here are the ingredients and measures to prepare a basic Bechamel sauce, now if you add some cheese to the sauce it will become a Mornay sauce, and that will be tasty as well. It is all up to you and how your family likes to eat Cannelloni.

Bechamel Sauce Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups warm milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Bechamel Sauce Directions

  1. In a medium pot, melt the butter at moderate heat.
  2. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
  3. Gradually add the warm milk, continually whisking, until the sauce is thick, smooth, and creamy, around 10 minutes (do not let the sauce to boil).
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in nutmeg, pepper, and salt. (The sauce can be prepared 3 days beforehand. Cool and then cover and refrigerate.)
  5. Yields about 4 cups