Saturday, 12 February 2011

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

My whole family like pasta, so vegetarian cannelloni has always been a regular on our menu. I've recently discovered that my children will eat spinach again; They used to eat it when they were little and then went through a 'refusing anything green and healthy' phase, before slowly accepting green veg back into their diet.
As they're vegetarian, I'm keen on them eating green leafy veg for their vitamin and iron levels, so I thought I'd cook a spinachy cannelloni for tonight's dinner.

Even if I say so myself (and I do!) this was delicious. Both girls loved the meal and ate every mouthful I'd put on their plates, and even Mr O said it was 'very nice' which is a compliment from him!

Serves 3-4 as a main course
  • 250g/10oz fresh spinach
  • 250g/1 tub mascarpone or ricotta cheese
  • 25g/1oz fresh white bread crumbs
  • 50g/2oz grated Parmesan-style or other hard cheese
  • 50g/2oz grated mozzarella
  • Salt, black pepper and fresh nutmeg, to taste
  • Dried cannelloni or fresh lasagne sheets
Make up 1 portion of  tomato pasta sauce, adding some fresh chopped basil.

Rinse the spinach, drain and microwave for around 3 minutes until wilted.
Allow to cool slightly and then drain/squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
Blend or chop the spinach. Season with plenty of black pepper and nutmeg (and a touch of salt).
Add the ricotta, hard cheese and bread crumbs and mix well.

Pour ¼ of the pasta sauce into an oven proof dish.
Stuff around 10-14 cannelloni tubes with the spinach and cheese mixture. You can do this using a small teaspoon, but the easiest way is to use a piping bag/icing syringe.  

Place the stuffed cannelloni in the dish on top of the sauce.
Pour the remaining sauce over the pasta.
Sprinkle the mozzarella over the sauce.
Bake at 170C/160C Fan/Gas 3/325 F for 30-45 minutes.

Serve with salad or vegetables.

Alternatives: If you can't find dried cannelloni, use large fresh or dried pasta shells, fresh lasagne sheets or savoury pancakes (rolled up around the filling). Reduce the cooking time slightly if using these options.

Suitable for freezing before or after baking. Defrost before reheating.

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  1. That does sound good! Nom nom :P

  2. I have just made this and it's in the oven, I'll let you know how it turns out!! :) xx

    1. Hope you like it. I'll be making it next week for Easter :-)

  3. Going to give this a whirl for tonight's tea! It's really hard finding decent veggie meals for the whole family, & doesn't help with a veggie husband who doesn't like tomatoes! :)

    1. I hope you all like it. You could always add a pour a white sauce over, but that might be a bit too rich.


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