I think I’ve been stuck in a bit of a food rut…making the same 4 or 5 recipes over and over, with variations of the same thing….
Spring has started well and truly though here in Queensland, so it was time to break out some new ideas, or in this case, an old idea that hasn’t been created for a while. Cannelloni is light and the way I structured it in the baking dish, could almost be considered a cheese type vegetarian lasagna. The flavours are not too strong, its delicious as a warm lunch with a side salad and you know that you are getting some good nutrients with all the spinach piled into the little tubes of pasta. This is probably not a dish to throw together when you are in a hurry, but a great meal to make a large dish of on the weekend and then freeze well as leftovers for the time poor looking for a quick healthy meal after work.
Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni
creates 6 serves
- 1 box(250g) instant Cannelloni shells
- 500g ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup mixed tasty & mozzarella cheese (tasty cheese on its own will be okay)
- 1 box (approx 250g) frozen spinach
- 1 brown onion
- 2 tbl sp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbl sp toasted pine nuts
- 3 cups tomato passata
- salt and cracked black pepper to season
Cook your passata if you are making from scratch and then place to the side whilst you complete the cannelloni itself.
Defrost the spinach and then cook in salted water. Drain after approx 1 min simmering.
Finely dice the onion and cook over a low heat until the onion is translucent. Add in your pine nuts and continue cooking until both start to turn golden. Then add in your drained spinach. Stir over the heat for a minute or two and then add your ricotta cheese. Continue stirring over the heat until well combined and then remove. At this point season well with salt and pepper and add in your dried herbs. Add 3/4 your tasty & mozzarella cheese & approx 1/2 of the parmesan cheese, stir well.
Using a teaspoon stuff your cannelloni shells being careful not to put too much pressure on them as they will break.
Place the full shells in a dish.
Once completed cover with the tomato passata. To finish off scatter your remaining cheese and place in a 180 C oven for approx 30 mins or until the cheese is golden brown. If you happen to have some in the fridge, dot a little bit of pesto over the top of the dish to give you a basil boost for the tomato flavour.
We served our cannelloni with a glass of rose and a tasty salad of greens, olives and pine nuts, and it made for a light, but filling Sunday lunch today. If you are looking for some variations on this recipe, try roasting some pumpkin and sweet potato and adding it to the ricotta mix. It adds a sweeter taste to the dish and is a great way to pack in more veggies.
Happy Cooking, and Happy Eating,