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Up until now when I made cannelloni I stuffed it with meat. Now was the first time I made it with cheese and here are some problems I have discovered:

  1. The cheese melts during cooking and escapes the noodle. Since the dish fills with liquid as a result and the noodle is drained of liquid, the noodle gets squished and loses its tube form. Basically it collapses on itself

  2. The cheese adds more liquids and fats so the noodle is not crunchy or at least el dente. I recall at a restaurant the noodle was surrounded with pomodoro but it was crunchy, had good form and retained the stuffing.

How do I resolve these problems when making cheese cannelloni?

EDIT: Recipe:

You start by cooking 4 garlic cloves in olive oil, then you add spinach (i think 100g) until it wilts. Then you add 200ml bechamel sauce(basic bechamel with roux and milk and some cheddar), 125g ricotta cheese, and 75g parmegiano reggiano. This is the stuffing.

You then stuff it into the cannelloni (i used 15 pieces), line them in a buttered dish and surround them with pomodoro sauce. Layer remaining bechamel (200ml) on top, tinfoil wrap and bake for 25 mins. Remove tinfoil, let it brown for 10 and youre done.

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    It would be helpful if you posted the recipe and method you have used. – GdD Dec 13 '18 at 16:58
  • @GdD yeah sorry forgot about it – Bar Akiva Dec 13 '18 at 17:09
  • @GdD edited the post – Bar Akiva Dec 13 '18 at 17:15
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    Neither ricotta nor parmesan ought to melt; parmesan will melt a bit, but not much, ricotta not at all. Are you sure it wasn't excess liquid from the spinach more 'dissolving' or thinning than melting the filling? – Tetsujin Dec 13 '18 at 17:57
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I think your cooking method is fine and the problem lies in the stuffing. I see a few things that may be contributing factors to your issue.

  • Make sure you are using the minimum amount of olive oil you can. You don't want excess in your stuffing.

  • Spinach tends to release a lot of moisture when cooked. Wilt the spinach and squeeze out as much moisture as you can before adding it to the garlic.

  • Ricotta tends to have quite a bit of moisture. It can vary by brand. Try draining the ricotta through a strainer for a good while to let the excess moisture drain off.

You might also try reducing the amount of bechamel in the stuffing. If I'm looking at it right you are currently using as much bechamel as cheese.

And last but not least, a commercial trick I learned is to add a very small amount of bread crumbs or cracker meal. I've seen that done in both baked dishes and salads like tuna, chicken, etc. It's kind of a hack to handle extra moisture.

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