Spinach and Ricotta is such a winning combination. It’s used in the Maltese pastries called Pastizzi’s, the fabulously famous Greek pie known as Spanakopita and widely used in Italian pasta dishes including filling for ravioli or as I’m doing here – with cannelloni.
Now that I’ve found a good gluten free cannelloni product, its back on my cooking repertoire. I like to make this and freeze in serving size batches.
Of course, you could make this into one big baking tray as it serves 6. However I like to freeze into portions for two people, it’s a great dish to make for singles this way as you can take the other portion to work the next day!
If you have no issues with gluten of course you can use traditional cannelloni cases. The brand of pasta I have used is Casalare Pasta. It is now being stocked in Coles stores, so should be fairly easy to find, however if not, check out the website here.
2 bunches of spinach, cooked and chopped
2 tblspn feta cheese crumbled
Pinch salt & pepper
Handful of fresh basil finely chopped
3 green spring onions finely chopped
½ tsp grated nutmeg
18 gluten free cannelloni shells (2 packets)
2 x 800g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic
½ bunch basil
Sea salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
2 tsp sugar
1. Fry onion and garlic until soft
2. Add the tomatoes, salt & sugar. Cook about 50mins. Add the basil and cook another 10mins until most of the liquid has evaporated.
3. Cook the spinach and squeeze out any excess liquid before chopping finely.
4. Put all the filling ingredients into a bowl and mix well with a fork (or hands)
4. Place 1cm layer of tomato sauce on bottom of baking tray
5. Fill cannelloni shells with the spinach and ricotta mixture. It can be a little fiddly but using the end of a spoon to push the mixture through the tubes works well.
6. Place another layer of tomato sauce onto the cannelloni shells and top with grated cheese.
7. It’s also nice to top with little extra ricotta dollops or fresh bocconcini cheese cut into slices on top of the grated cheese for an extra cheesy top – this is obviously dependant on your calorie watching !
7. Bake at 180C for approx 50 mins (30 mins covered, 20 mins uncovered) or until nicely browned and cooked through.
Serves 6 (or 3 meals for 2 people……or 4 hungry people!)