If you’re looking for a simply yet satisfying dinner, this spinach and ricotta cannelloni is great. This recipe serves 10 people, so is perfect if you are hosting a dinner for friends and family. It is also freezer friendly, so you can freeze the leftovers to enjoy another time. You could even make individual portions to freeze and defrost for quick yet delicious mid-week meals.
Ready in: 90 minutes
For the tomato sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
8 garlic cloves
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
Small bunch of basil leaves
For the topping
2 x 250g tubs mascarpone
3 tbsp milk
85g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
2 x 125g balls mozzarella, sliced
For the filling
100g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
3 x 250g tubs ricotta
Large pinch grated nutmeg
400g dried cannelloni
1. Make the tomato sauce first – fry the garlic in a large pan with oil for 1 minute. Add the sugar, vinegar, tomatoes and some seasoning and simmer for 20 minutes, until thick. Add the basil and divide the sauce into 2 or more shallow ovenproof dishes and set aside.
2. Make a sauce for the topping by beating the mascarpone with the milk until smooth, season and set to one side.
3. Put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt it, you may need to do this a bit at a time.
4. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the excess water out of the spinach. Roughly chop then mix in a large bowl with 100g Parmesan and the ricotta. Season well with salt, pepper and the nutmeg.
5. Heat the oven to 200C. Using a piping bag (or a food bag with the corner snipped), squeeze the filling into the cannelloni tubes. Lay the tubes side by side, on top of the tomato sauce and spoon over the mascarpone sauce.
6. Top the sauce with Parmesan and mozzarella. You can now freeze the cannelloni, uncooked, or you can cook it first and then freeze.
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.
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