Friday, 16 November 2012

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

A word of warning, this does take a lot of prep time but it is well worth it! I must admit, this recipe was largely, if not completely, inspired by Jamie Oliver... who is obviously my close friend who shared it with me personally.

Aside from the filling of the cannelloni shells, you will need to make two additional sauces: one tomato-based sauce: you can either use my basic tomato sauce or my vegetable tomato sauce and a cream based sauce.

You will need:
  • Cannelloni shells (or you can easily make your own pasta like I did)
  • 3 bags of baby spinach
  • 2 cups of ricotta
  • 1 cup of parmesan
  • a knob of butter
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of fresh nutmeg
  • Good cheese for melting (mozza, cheddar... etc)
  1. Wash and then spin-dry the spinach
  2. Mince the garlic and cook it in a saucepan with butter at a medium-high heat
  3. Once the garlic is cooked, add the nutmeg and the spinach and stir until the leaves are wilted
  4. Put the spinach aside and let it cool before chopping it
  5. Add the ricotta and parmesan to the spinach and mix well. 
Some cannelloni shells require you to cook them first but others, you can but straight into the oven. So follow the instructions depending. If you make your own pasta, cook the sheets for about 2 minutes and place them in a bowl of cool water with olive oil.

When filling the shells and preparing the pan:
  1. If you don't have a piping tube, use a ziplock bag and cut a small hole in the bottom corner. Fill the bag with your ricotta spinach mixture and pipe it into the tubes. If you are using your own made pasta, simply lay down the filling and roll up your pasta sheet. 
  2. In a lasagna pan, lay the tomato sauce on the bottom
  3. Arrange the filled cannelloni tubes on top of your bed of sauce
  4. Cover the tubes with the cream sauce and top it with cheese. If you have left over filling, garnish the top with it. 
Bake depending on the directions on your cannelloni shell box and then let sit for 10 minutes before serving. With your own pasta, cook for about 8 minutes on a high heat.

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