To make the filling, boil the washed spinach in a small amount of salted water, then drain off as much water as possible. Finely chop the drained spinach and combine in a bowl with the ricotta, whole eggs, nutmeg, black pepper, salt and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Mix well and set aside.
Prepare the béchamel sauce using your favorite recipe.
If using fresh pasta sheets, cut them into 4-inch squares, then boil in salted water for 1 to 2 minutes. Promptly remove the boiled pasta from the water and place on a towel to dry. Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of each square and roll them up into a tube shape. If using dried cannelloni shells, use a pastry bag with a large tip to fill the shells (usually ready to bake—no pre-boiling necessary).
Generously grease a baking pan with butter, then spread a thin layer of the béchamel on the bottom. Place a layer of the stuffed cannelloni on the sauce, top with more sauce, then sprinkle with the additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover with foil and bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Five minutes before the end of baking, remove the foil and allow the top to brown. Serve warm.
About this recipe
Ca’Momi is owned by three true Italians: Dario De Conti, Valentina Guolo-Migotto and Stefano Migotto. When they came to Napa and started making wine, they named their company Ca’ Momi, in honor of their family home in North- ern Italy. The name also pays tribute to Momi dea Bionda, the home’s previous owner, a man famous for his obsession with the house, his grapes and his wine.
When we asked the trio what they believe their Italian heritage brings to the way they live and work here in the Wine Country they told us, “When we came to America, we knew we wanted to make wine here, and to capture some of the spirit of our family traditions. Of course, we are just a little bit obsessive about our wines, too! We want them to be fresh, fruity and full of life. They are wines to be enjoyed. And they need food that meets the same criteria. We search for the best of everything before we start cooking.”
In 2010, they expanded their venture beyond wines, opening Ca’Momi Enoteca, Pizzeria and Pasticceria in downtown Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. There, they continue to stay true to their Italian roots, offering food that is “obsessively Italian,” but taking advantage of the rich bounty of the surrounding area. This means using organic local produce (some grown in their own garden), meats and cheeses, including that extraordinary Bellwether Farms Jersey ricotta.
Now, about Momi.... Dario, Valentina and Stefano say that they believe that Momi’s protective ghost is still watching over their property in Italy. In his later years he would ride around the property in an old motorcycle, with his blind dog sitting in its sidecar. He would patrol the vineyards, armed with a rifle, just to be sure that his grapes and his land were safe.