Meatless Mondays: Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

For a dish which is warming, Mediterranean and packed with flavour

Because we need more persuading that Spring has actually arrived than a few days of blustery sun and scudding clouds, we’re sticking to the hot stuff. Introducing cannelloni; filling, deliciously cheesy, nicely Mediterranean (so we are slightly embracing the summer) and best served piping hot. Filling the tubes is a bit fiddly but otherwise this classic Italian dish is easy to make. You will be popular with whoever gets to eat the other half of it.
Serves 2.

100g fresh spinach leaves
500ml pasata
8 dried cannelloni tubes
Dried basil or fresh and shredded
250g ricotta cheese

1. Preheat oven to 220C. Wilt the spinach in the microwave or in a pan with a little water until just cooked. Leave to cool.
3. In a flat dish wide enough to hold all cannelloni tubes in one layer, spread 3 tablespoons of pasata on the base.
4. Squeeze any excess water out of the spinach. In a mixing bowl, combine gently with the ricotta.
5. Using the end of a tablespoon, put the spinach mixture in the cannelloni tubes. (Hold over the bowl to prevent a mess). Save any leftover spinach and ricotta.
6. When all 8 tube are filled place them in dish as a row.
7. Add a little basil to the remaining pasata. Pour it on top of the cannelloni, making sure the pasta is completely covered. If you have any leftover spinach mixture, dollop onto the pasta.
8. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, serve with a flourish and some fresh basil leaves.

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