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Chef Francesco is from Sardinia, a beautiful island in the South of Italy. He has a background in cooking, having spent 7 years as a Chef in Italy, Australia and London. He is now a Senior Teaching Chef for some of the top cookery schools in London.

For Chef Francesco, being Italian, Italian cuisine is his passion. He has a developed, rustic Italian cooking style based on memories from his childhood – cooking with his Nonna, working on the farm and fishing with his Granddad.

All of Chef Francesco’s recipes are original, traditional and based on the best ingredients.

Italian food is one of the most beloved cuisines in the world. But, you don't need to go out to eat or travel to Italy to eat the real deal anymore. Learn how to make the most authentic, rustic Italian food in your home with this masterclass from Italian chef, Francesco Mattana.

In this episode of Chef Francesco's Masterclass, he makes Cannelloni stuffed with Nduja, ricotta and aubergine.

Cannelloni are a cylindrical type of filled lasagna covered by a simple tomato sauce and baked in the oven.

With these step by step instructions and useful tips, Italian cooking is for everyone. 


  • Homemade fresh cannelloni (or dried if you're not making your own)

  • 100g ricotta (plus some extra)
  • 2 tbsp Nduja (approx)
  • 1 aubergine chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 500g passata di pomodoro
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove (smashed)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • If making fresh cannelloni you need: 200g of 00" flour
  • 2 fresh medium eggs at room temperature


  1. For the pasta, add the flour to the bowl and crack the egg into the middle.

  2. With a fork, scramble the egg.
  3. Start to mix together the flour and egg. Slowly, slowly incorporate all the flour into the egg mixture.
  4. As soon as you have a kind of crumbly dough, start to use your hands to bring it all together. Brush your hands with some flour and transfer the dough to your work table.
  5. Using both hands, start kneading the dough, stretching it and folding it back.
  6. If the dough is a little sticky do not add any extra flour. Instead, put a good amount of flour into your hand and continue kneading. (If you add too much flour to the dough it will become very dry and impossible to roll).
  7. You know your dough is ready when it's nice and smooth and bounces back when you poke it.
  8. At this point, cover the dough with cling film and let it rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. (You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days if you want to make your pasta later).
  9. If you are in a hurry, you can leave the dough to rest outside of the fridge but always cover it in cling film for at least 5 minutes. However, if you do have time to leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes, it will be easier to stretch.
  10. Once your dough has rested, it is ready for you to shape it!
  11. Unwrap the dough and flatten it with a wooden rolling pin. Roll out the dough into thin pasta sheets, around 1mm thick so that your dough is very thin (to do this you need to make some space on your work table).
  12. Cut the dough in rectangles sheets around 8 cm long and 12 cm large so they are ready to roll with the filling.
  13. Make the tomato sauce by adding a tsp of olive oil to the pot with a clove of garlic.
  14. On a medium heat, cook the garlic for 30 seconds.
  15. Add the passata and the basil and let the sauce cook for 30 minutes on a very low heat as you do not want to reduce the tomato sauce.
  16. Season with salt and serve.
  17. For the filling, make the filling in a pan frying in sequence: olive oil, aubergine chopped in 1 cm cubes, nduja. Keep cooking.
  18. Once the aubergine is cooked, turn off the heat and add the ricotta, basil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  19. Mix all together until the mixture is well combined and leave to cool down.
  20. Then combine and cook. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C.
  21. If you’re using fresh pasta, shape the pasta dough as explained.
  22. Add the filling long ways along the border of the largest part of the rectangle and close the cannelloni by rolling it like a cigar.
  23. In a ceramic tray, add some basil and tomato sauce so the dish is completely covered on the bottom.
  24. Then line up your cannelloni on top of the sauce.
  25. Cover the top of the cannelloni with more basil and tomato sauce and grate parmesan all over.
  26. Put the cannelloni in the oven for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until golden.
  27. Serve.