I recently posted the very yummy Pumpkin, Feta and Sage Cannelloni, the easy roll up way. I enjoyed it so much I thought I had better put up the one that I make all the time. This is a classic Italian dish that I have made for as long as I have been cooking Italian food. There is something about the mixing of spinach and ricotta that is just… well… good! I’m not sure who first put this combination together, but if you do a google search on Spinach and Ricotta, thousands of recipes show up, so I have just added mine to the list. 🙂
This is also a wonderful alternative for your vegetarian friends that are used to you cooking that vegetable lasagna that you always make. It is definitely not gluten or diary free, but it is delicious. I have always wondered how you would cope being Italian and having food intolerance particularly to gluten and dairy. I would love to hear from you and what your favourite go to Italian recipes are apart from the obvious risotto!
Ingredients – Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Tablespoon (20g) Olive Oil
1 x 700g Bottle Passatta
1 x 400g Tin Tomatoes
300ml of Water (use it to rinse out the passatta bottle)
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
Ingredients – Filling
300 – 500g roughly chopped spinach
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Tablespoons (40g) Olive Oil
5 – 6 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (or dried if you can’t source fresh)
100g Grated Mozzarella
100g Grated Parmesan
10 Fresh Lasagna Pasta Sheets
Method – Sauce
1. Place a large space pan on the heat, finely dice onion and garlic and sauté in oil.
2. Add all other ingredients, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes, take the lid off and simmer for another 15 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.
3. Set aside to cool and use when putting the cannelloni together.
Method – Filling
1. Place a small frying pan on the heat, finely dice onion, garlic, thyme and sauté in oil.
2. Add roughly chopped spinach and allow to wilt, then place all ingredients into a food processor and chop until desired consistency.
3. Place processed spinach ingredients in a large bowl with egg, ricotta, 50g of Mozzarella and 50g of Parmesan and mix the ingredients together well. (The other 100g of cheese is for the top).
Go to making up the Cannelloni after the Thermomix Method.
1. Place onion and garlic into mixing bowl and chop 3 seconds/speed 5.
2. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and add oil sautéing 4 minutes/Varoma/speed 1.
3. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the mixing bowl and cook 30 minutes/Varoma/speed 1.
4. Place spinach into Varoma and set into place. Cook the sauce for another 15 minutes/Varoma/speed 1. When cooked, set aside sauce into ThermoServer or container to cool. Leave spinach in the Varoma for the next step in the recipe.
5. Into the dirty bowl place onion, garlic, thyme (from filling ingredients) and chop 3 seconds/speed 5.
6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add oil and sauté 4 minutes/Varoma/speed 1.
7. Add spinach from the Varoma to the sautéed ingredients and blend 10 seconds/speed 5.
8. Add egg, 200g of feta, 50g of mozzarella and 50g of parmesan and mix 15 seconds/reverse/speed 4. Follow instructions for making up the Cannelloni below.
Making up the Cannelloni
1. Place a small amount of the red sauce into the bottom of the container.
2. Roll out one lasagna sheet and place about 1/2 cup of mixture at one end of the sheet.
3. Roll up the sheet as tight as you can (there will be some spillage out the ends) and place seam side down in the sauce covered dish.
4. Continue with the rest of the sheets until all of the mixture is used up.
5. Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan over the top of the sauce.
6. Place in the a pre heated oven of 180°C for 45 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and golden brown.
7. Serve with a salad and or garlic bread.
I think this is an easy tasty vegetarian dish, that even the die hard meat eater will think is delicious! Also the easiest Cannelloni ever! I know that everyone has their favourite pasta dish, but you never know this could become another one.
What is your favourite Italian dish and how did it come to be a staple in your house? As always, I look forward to hearing from you..
If you liked this recipe, maybe you would enjoy these?