Spinach and ricotta cannelloni
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Babiche Martens
Cannelloni has long been a favourite in Italy and is also one of ours. This vegetarian version is a great meal and not too heavy. The spinach in my garden has been growing like crazy and, of course, it's cheap at the supermarket. I use yoghurt mixed with an egg to help it set, not forgetting the parmesan to give it that delicious, rich flavour. You can make a large dish and cut into portions and freeze or individual dishes as I have here. To serve, all that is needed is a salad or crusty bread and it is good to go. If fresh mozzarella is hard to source, use a tasty cheddar or a little extra parmesan.
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1||Onion, finely chopped|
|3 cloves||Garlic, crushed|
|1 tin||Crushed tomatoes, approx 400g|
|1 tsp||Balsamic vinegar|
|1 tsp||Brown sugar|
|½ tsp||Dried oregano|
|1 cup||Fresh basil|
|200 g||Spinach, wilted and excess liquid removed|
|300 g||Ricotta cheese|
|1 cup||Parmesan cheese, grated|
|½ cup||Fresh basil, shredded|
- Heat oven to 180C.
- Heat oil in a small pot to a medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes until softened. Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, oregano and basil leaves. Cook for a further 5 minutes to reduce a little of the juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- To make the filling, mix spinach, ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Using a teaspoon, fill the tubes with mixture first at one end and then from the other end to ensure they are full.
- Evenly spread the tomato sauce in four individual dishes. Place four tubes in each.
- Combine yoghurt, egg and parmesan. Spoon over the cannelloni. Place two slices of mozzarella on each. Place into the hot oven for 35 minutes or until golden.
- Garnish with basil leaves.