Potato and Porcini Mushroom Cannelloni (Manicotti)
Although not an old traditional recipe, this potato and porcini mushroom cannelloni is one of the most scrumptious cannelloni recipes I know. The taste is exceptional! I highly recommend this recipe if you’re looking for an alternative way to serve these large pasta tubes.
Cannelloni con patate e funghi porcini.
The two most traditional and popular ways Italians serve cannelloni (manicotti in USA) are either filled with a meat ragu and baked in a tomato sauce or filled with spinach and ricotta and baked in a tomato sauce and/or béchamel. As you can imagine, the filling for this potato and porcini cannelloni is different. It contains potato puree and porcini mushrooms. The sauce is a yummy cheesy béchamel.
Another great thing about this dish is that it’s vegetarian and can be vegan if you use vegan cheese and milk. Also, sometimes it’s nice to make pasta without tomatoes! Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE tomatoes and here in Italy they’re so flavourful! Still, I enjoy pasta recipes which are tomato free too or, as the Italians say ‘bianca’!
Fresh or dried pasta?
You can make this potato and porcini mushroom cannelloni (manicotti) with dried pasta tubes, which is what I did. You can also make it with fresh cannelloni. However, fresh cannelloni is a bit of a misnomer because it doesn’t really exist.
As I have mentioned in other posts, fresh cannelloni are in fact rolled up lasagne pasta sheets. That fact gives you two options; buy the fresh sheets ready-made or make them yourself! If you’d like to make them yourself you can follow my recipe for homemade lasagne.
If you decide to use dried cannelloni make the béchamel a little more liquid as the pasta will have to cook in the sauce. I also cooked the dish covered in aluminium for 15 minutes before removing the cover so that the top of the pasta can get nice and crispy!
Fresh pasta cooks very fast and there’s probably no need to cover it. Just bake until the top is a nice golden crispy brown and the pasta is cooked enough to eat. If the pasta doesn’t seem cooked and the top is already brown enough, just cover the dish with aluminium foil until the pasta is ready.
Which mushrooms are in this dish?
Although this potato and porcini mushroom cannelloni (manicotti) recipe isn’t traditional, it’s popular. In fact, I found quite a number of versions for it. The recipe I followed is the most simple, except I also added Pioppini mushrooms. You can use just porcini (ceps) or include another type of mushroom if you prefer.
But, the combination of porcini and potato is what gives this dish its divine flavour, so the porcini are a must. I used frozen ones because I don’t really like dried porcini. You can use either. Of course, if you can get your hands on fresh porcini, that’s even better!! Don’t forget to soak the mushrooms first if you are using dried ones.
Let me know if you try it!
I served this dish to guests last weekend and they totally fell in love with it. I’m sure you will too! If you do decide to make it, please let me know how it turns out and if you liked it. You can leave a comment here on the blog or on The Pasta Project Facebook page.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Other pasta recipes with porcini mushrooms to check out.
- Tagliatelle with porcini
- Paccheri with porcini, speck and pistachios
- Spaghetti mare e monti with porcini and calamari
- Tagliatelle with rabbit ragu
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Potato and porcini mushroom cannelloni (manicotti)
- 250 g cannelloni (manicotti) (9pz) 4-5 cannelloni per person
- 300 g potatoes (10.5oz)
- 200 g Porcini mushrooms (7oz) (if fresh cleaned and sliced, if dry, soaked in warm water for 20 mins and drained)
- 200 g Pioppini mushrooms (7oz) cleaned and bottom of stalks cut off
- 1 handful fresh parsley chopped
- 1 shallot or small onion peeled and finely chopped
- 120 g Parmesan or grana cheese (4oz) grated
- 1/2 glass white wine
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
For the béchamel
- 50 g all purpose flour (2oz)
- 50 g butter (2oz) plus a bit extra for puree
- 1 Lt fresh milk (4 cups) plus a bit extra for puree
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Boil the potatoes unpeeled in salted water until they are soft. Drain them, peel them and mash them with a bit of milk and butter until you have quite a creamy but rough puree. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the chopped shallot/onion until it starts to soften.
- Add the cleaned and sliced mushrooms and chopped parsley and cook for a few minutes. Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Allow the alcohol to evaporate and turn down the heat. Simmer until the mushrooms are cooked.
Make the béchamel
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, sift the flour into it and make the roux. Add salt and nutmeg and pour the milk a little at a time into the mixture, stirring continuously to prevent lumps forming. Add a third of the grated cheese and continue stirring over a low heat until the sauce thickens.
Put the dish together
- Put the puree in a bowl, add half the remaining Parmesan, the cooked mushrooms and a pinch of nutmeg. Use a hand held blender to make the pieces in the mixture a bit smaller but keep the puree a little rough.
- Now using a teaspoon, fill your cannelloni with the mixture of potatoes and porcini. I fill first from one end and then from the other.
- Spread some bechamel sauce over the bottom of an oven dish, place the filled cannelloni side by side in the dish and cover them with the rest of the bechamel sauce.
- Sprinkle the cannelloni with the rest of the grated Parmesan and bake at 200 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. I covered the dish with aluminum foil for the first 15 minutes.
- Once ready, let the potato and porcini mushroom cannelloni (manicotti) stand for 5 minutes then serve.
This recipe was originally published in 2018 but has been updated.
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