I always loved going to my Grandparents for dinner as a kid and finding out that cannelloni was on the menu! Something about that delicious ricotta and pasta was soooo good!
I was shopping last week and found a massive 1kg tub of ricotta on sale so I had to have it! I was thinking lasagne and suddenly cannelloni popped into my mind. This is a first for me, I have never made it before.
Usually during a first attempt at cooking something, I hunt around and find a few recipes and adapt them to my liking, but I was feeling adventurous and decided to wing it! This recipe is very rustic so please change it as you wish.
- 1kg ricotta
- 1/2-1 cup milk (if needed see step 4)
- cannelloni tubes
- 2 tins tomatoes
- 1 med. brown onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 big bag pre-washed baby spinach (it cooks down so use lots)
- parmesan cheese
- If the ricotta you are using has lots of liquid in it, you might need to tip it into a strainer for an hour or so and let the liquid run out. You can leave it in the stainer in the fridge overnight if you have time. Mine was strained and quite firm. Oh look at all that luscious ricotta (yes the spoon is from me tasting it oops)
- Steam the spinach until just wilted and set aside to cool slightly.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion until soft and slightly brown. Add the garlic and herbs, season with salt and pepper. Add the tins of tomatoes and keep on medium heat to cook down into a thickened tomato sauce, stir occasionally.
- chop up the spinach and mix it in with the ricotta. My mixture was very thick so I added about a cup of milk. You don’t want it very runny but soft enough to squeeze into the pasta tubes. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Don’t over-salt the cheese as it can sometimes be very salty depending on the brand…better just taste it again to see 🙂
- At this stage the tomato sauce should be done. Spoon a layer of the sauce into the bottom of a ceramic baking tray. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Put some of the cheese mixture into a ziplock and cut off the end to make a piping bag. If you tip the pasta up on its end and squeeze the cheese in, it will fill without air bubbles.
- Place the filled cannelloni’s onto the sauce.
- Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top and grate a bit of parmesan over the whole thing.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until its golden brown on top and the pasta is nice and soft.
It was super yummy!!! I don’t think the pasta was quite as tender as my Nunna’s but I’m pretty sure she uses fresh pasta a lot. Oh well not bad for a first attempt and seriously who has time to make fresh pasta on a weekday?! Give these a go, they are so yummy and seriously satisfying.