The best way to kick off a memorable and enjoyable day of family celebration is to prepare some local specialty that has everyone licking their lips, both young and old, making sure you have a wonderfully relaxing and convivial day in the company of your nearest and dearest from the moment you sit down together at the dining table. For Christmas, then, we suggest this traditional, but at the same time original, dish: a beautiful pan of baked cannelloni which, in order to get a really nice visual effect, we arranged vertically. Also, thanks to the filling, these fantastic baked cannelloni have been given something of a twist: to the traditional filling of ricotta and spinach we have added a little diced mortadella (or you could use cooked ham), making them even more delicious!
Blanch the cannelloni in boiling water in which you have added a little salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Gently place them on a towel and set aside. Mix the spinach in a bowl with the ricotta, add the mortadella or diced cooked ham, Parmesan cheese, and work everything together well with some salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of tomato sauce and mix again. Take a round baking dish and grease it. Smear over a little tomato sauce and a few tablespoons of béchamel. Cut the cannelloni in half and fill them with the ricotta and spinach mixture. Place them all vertically one next to the other in the baking dish, and proceed to use up all the remaining filling. Pour the remaining tomato sauce, the remaining béchamel and a good sprinkling of Parmesan over the cannelloni in the dish. Finish by dotting over some butter and bake at 180°C for half an hour.