Piatto del Giorno: Cannelloni

Being a busy household with people constantly coming and going, needing lifts to sports clubs, matches, music lessons, shops and everything else imaginable, it leaves only three options when it comes to feeding the family. Get a takeaway, get a microwaveable heat up or plan in advance and prepare something. I had a little time last night to knock up a dish of spinach and ricotta cannelloni, ready for heating up tonight. It took all of 15 minutes to prepare and needs around 25-30 minutes in the oven to heat through. The quantity below should feed 4-5 people depending on how hungry or greedy they are.

Start with the tomato sauce as this needs a little time to reduce and thicken.
Olive oil – 2-3 tablespoons
2 cloves garlic
2x400g tins of chopped tomatoes
a few fresh basil leaves – dried will do too

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped garlic and as soon as it starts to sizzle, add the tomatoes and basil. Stir then simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat.

While the sauce is simmering, start on the Cannelloni
250g pack of Spinach – if using the ready washed type simply make some holes in the bag and microwave for 2 minutes on full power, then chop roughly
1 red onion – it doesn’t have to be red (chopped)
olive oil – about 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper
a dusting of nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried oregano
handful of pine nuts – or sunflower or pumpkin seeds
250g ricotta cheese – you could use any cream cheese
1 red chili – deseeded and finely chopped
1 pack (12 sheets) fresh lasagne

Put the overn on to 190C, then heat the oil in a pan then add the pine nuts (or seeds), onion and chili and fry until softened, then add the spinach and cook over a high heat to drive out the liquid.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients except of the lasagne sheets. Mix well.
Lay the sheets of lasagne out and spread a tablespoon or so of the mixture over each, dividing the mixture equally. Roll each sheet up and lay in a lightly greased oven proof dish. Cover with the tomato sauce and bake in the oven until everything is bubbling.

Serve with a green salad, garlic bread if you like your carbs and shavings of parmesan cheese.


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