Cannelloni ricotta e spinaci – spinach and ricotta cannelloni

2
60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh lasagne sheets, cut in half, or 6 cannelloni tubes
  • 10g of Parmesan, finely grated

Tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomato
  • salt
  • pepper

Filling

  • 500g of spinach
  • 250g of ricotta
  • 10g of Parmesan
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt

Béchamel sauce

  • 15g of butter
  • 15g of flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 300ml of whole milk, warmed
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 dash of white wine vinegar
  • salt

Method

1
Begin by making a simple tomato sauce. Gently heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic. Once soft but not coloured (about 30–45 seconds) add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper
2
Meanwhile, wilt the spinach in a hot dry pan (you may need to work in batches). Squeeze the spinach of excess water then roughly chop
3
Mix the spinach with the ricotta and Parmesan, then add lemon zest, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Taste to check you are happy with the flavour
4
If using fresh pasta, blanch the sheets in boiling water then plunge into iced water
5
Pat the pasta dry with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel. Place a spoonful or two of the spinach mixture down the width of each sheet, then roll up into cannelloni shapes
6
If using dried cannelloni, spoon the filling into a piping bag and fill the tubes this way
7
Place the tomato sauce in the bottom of an ovenproof dish and lay the cannelloni on top. Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 whilst you make the béchamel sauce
8
Heat the butter and flour in a pan and stir to create a paste (roux). Stir for a couple of minutes to cook out the floury taste, then whisk in the warm milk bit by bit to avoid lumps
9
Add the bay leaf and season with salt and a dash of vinegar. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to infuse the flavour then remove the bay leaf
10
Spoon the béchamel over the cannelloni and top with grated Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes for fresh pasta or 45 minutes if using dried. Serve hot