On a Roll: Butternut Squash Cannelloni Recipe

Butternut squash, Tuscan kale and fried sage make an elegant and hearty fall dish.

Filled with a mixture of butternut squash, ricotta cheese and sage, these homemade cannelloni sit on a bed of sauteed kale and are garnished with fried sage.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of the Hanover Inn

Photo courtesy of the Hanover Inn

Filled with a mixture of butternut squash, ricotta cheese and sage, these homemade cannelloni sit on a bed of sauteed kale and are garnished with fried sage.

When the weather turns chilly and butternut squash starts showing up at farmers' markets, butternut squash ravioli becomes the most ordered item on dinner menus around the country. But at Hanover Inn in Dartmouth, New Hampshire, chef Justin Dain invites a few more garden guests to the party for his butternut squash cannelloni, including Tuscan kale and fried sage.

Butternut Squash Cannelloni with Tuscan Kale, Fried Sage and Parmesan Cream

Serves 6

Butternut Squash Filling

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and core the butternut squash and chop into 1-inch cubes. Toss the cubes and garlic in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the mixture in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through and soft. Cool in the refrigerator until completely chilled. Once the mixture is chilled, place the mixture into a food processor and blend with the ricotta, egg, Parmesan cheese and chopped sage. Blend until smooth and season again to taste with salt and pepper. Place the mixture in a piping bag and reserve for the pasta sheets. If you do not have a piping bag, use a one-gallon Ziploc bag, and cut a small portion of the bottom of the bag.

Pasta Dough

  • 5 whole eggs
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups semolina flour

In a mixer, place the eggs and egg yolks in the bowl with the dough hook attachment. Mix the eggs for 30 seconds and slowly add the semolina flour. Mix until it forms a ball and all the semolina has been absorbed. Take the dough out and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Using a pasta machine roll, the dough out into a flat square piece and slowly start processing through the machine until you have reached desired thickness. At this point the dough should look like a long thin lasagna sheet. Cut the sheet into 12-inch sheets and drop into salted boiling water for 1 minute and then shock the pasta in an ice water bath. Remove the sheets from the ice bath and pat dry until all the water is gone. Pipe the butternut squash mixture down the length of the pasta sheet and fold over twice to create a long tube shape. Cut the cannellonis into 3-inch pieces and reserve for later.

Parmesan Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the heavy cream to a simmer and add the mixed cornstarch and water to the cream. Once thickened, remove and add the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve the sauce for plating.

Fried Sage

  • 20 sage leaves
  • 1 pint canola oil

Heat oil to 300 degrees in a 2 quart saucepan. Flash fry the sage leaves for 30 seconds or until the moisture has been completely removed from the sage. Remove from the oil and season with salt and pepper immediately.

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • ½ butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the butternut squash into ¼-inch cubes and toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the squash at 350 for 15 minutes or until slight caramelization has occurred.

Sauteed Kale

  • 2 bunches black Tuscan kale, clean, trimmed and removed from the stem
  • 3 tablespoons whole butter
  • 3 ounces vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan, add the butter, kale and vegetable stock. Sauté over medium heat until fully wilted and season with salt and pepper.


Rub the cannelloni with unsalted butter and place in a pre-heated oven at 350 degree for 5 minutes or until the filling is hot. On a large entrée plate, place the kale on the bottom of the plate and shingle the cannelloni down the middle of the plate. Drizzle 2 ounces of the sauce over the pasta and garnish with roasted butternut squash and fried sage.

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