Cannelloni is a type of Italian pasta with a cylindrical shape. Fresh spinach and basil mixed with creamy, dreamy, easy-to-whip-up ricotta, stuffed into cannelloni pasta and coated in tomato sauce – what can be more satisfying than this recipe?
I love this recipe as a freezing item as well. It’s easy, healthy and quick.
For the red tomato sauce:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 4 x 400g chopped tomatoes
- Small bunch basil leaves
For the filling:
- 1kg spinach
- 100g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
- 3 x 250g ricotta
- Large pinch grated garlic
- 400g dried cannelloni
For the topping:
- 2 x 250g mascarpone
- 3 tbsp milk
- 85g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
- 2 x 125g mozzarella
1. First, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic for 1 min. Add the sugar, vinegar, tomatoes and some seasoning and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until thick.
2. Add the basil and spread onto a shallow ovenproof dish. Set aside.
3. Make a sauce by beating the mascarpone with the milk until smooth, season, then set aside.
4. Put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt it.
5. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water. Roughly chop the spinach and mix in a large bowl with garlic, Parmesan and ricotta. Season well with salt and pepper.
6. Heat oven to 200C/180C.
7. Using a piping bag or plastic food bag with the corner snipped off, squeeze the filling into the cannelloni tubes.
8. Lay the tubes, side by side, on top of the tomato sauce and spoon over the mascarpone sauce. Top with Parmesan and mozzarella.
9. You can freeze this dish at this point by covering it up well with foil and plastic wraps.
10. Bake for 30-35 mins until golden and soft. Remove from oven and let it stand for 5 mins before serving.
You can get creative with the filling, adding whatever veggies your family love. I thought this classic filling would be a good start for those who haven’t tried eating or making cannelloni before. I love to add eggplants with the ricotta filling.
Though this pasta can be baked directly with a sauce of choice, there are some types that need to be boiled before they are baked. Make sure you follow the instructions on the Cannelloni pasta you buy before cooking.
Fact: The origin of Cannelloni dates back to around 1907.
If you try this recipe please share your opinion on my blog: www.sherisnovember.wordpress.com