Butternut squash, sage & walnut honeycomb cannelloni

Butternut squash, sage & walnut honeycomb cannelloni

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins

More effort

Serves 5
Fill dried cannelloni tubes with roasted squash and ricotta and smother with a creamy mascarpone sauce in this impressive pasta dish

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1346
  • fat88g
  • saturates48g
  • carbs95g
  • sugars20g
  • fibre10g
  • protein40g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 1kg butternut squash (after peeling and deseeding) - 400g diced into 1cm chunks, 600g cut into bigger chunks
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 onions, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 15 large sage leaves, finely chopped, plus a few extra for sprinkling
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 250g tubs ricotta



    Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from whey and traditionally a by-product of…

  • pinch of sugar (optional)



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 85g walnuts, chopped, plus a few halves for sprinkling



    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

  • 500g tub mascarpone
  • 300ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • good grating of fresh nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 85g grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), plus a little extra for sprinkling



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 500g cannelloni tubes (dried not fresh)


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the diced squash on a baking tray with 2 tbsp of the oil. Roast in the oven for 20-25 mins until the squash is tender and browning. Put the bigger chunks in a microwave-proof bowl with about 200ml water. Cover with cling film, pierce a couple of times, and microwave on High for 10-14 mins until really soft. Drain off the water and leave to cool a bit.

  2. Meanwhile, put the remaining oil in a frying pan with the onions, sage and garlic, and cook gently until softened. Set aside to cool.

  3. Mash the microwaved squash, or whizz in a food processor, then mix with the ricotta until smooth. Season well and taste – it may need a little sugar to bring out the sweetness of the squash. Stir in the onion mixture and walnuts, then gently stir in the roasted squash, being careful not to break it up. Spoon into a disposable piping bag and snip off the end to a width that will just fit inside one of your cannelloni tubes.

  4. Whisk the mascarpone with the milk, a generous grating of nutmeg, the Parmesan and plenty of seasoning (especially salt) until smooth. Spread just over half the sauce into a big ovenproof dish.

  5. Prepare the pasta in small batches (because it’s easier to fill the tubes when warm). Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add a few tubes at a time and boil for 2 mins, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick. Lift out with a slotted spoon and cool under cold water just until you can handle them. Use scissors to snip each tube in half, pipe the squash filling into each tube and stand upright, snuggled together, in your dish. Keep repeating the process (boiling tubes, halving, then filling), until all the ingredients are used up.

  6. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 (if it’s not already on). Drizzle the remaining mascarpone sauce all over the pasta tubes, scatter with extra sage leaves, a few more walnuts and some Parmesan. Bake for 30 mins until the top is crisp, the sauce bubbling and pasta softened.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Jul, 2015
DISCUSSING! !do not try this recipe. Doing it the way it says takes about 2 hours to make and it was horrible we all had 1 mouthful and it went in the bin.
3rd Nov, 2014
I was really disappointed with this dish, fiddly and time consuming for a pretty bland dish. The flavour combination used doesn't work in my opinion, the onion was overpowering and all the other flavours too bland. I would consider making again but would change the filing ingredients.
11th Oct, 2014
I made this last weekend very tasty. However I tried to semi cook the cannelloni then cut it in half before filling as per the instructions but the tubes kept breaking so I filled the full tubes and laid them down. I also added some chorizo into the squash mixture which gave added flavour.
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2nd Apr, 2015
This takes far longer than estimated; I spent 3.5 hours. The cannelloni needed five minutes in boiling water to be able to snip them in half: easiest done if you poke a hole with the scissors first and start cutting from there, then they are less likely to snap in half.
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