Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cannelloni Ricotta with Tomato Sauce

This is one of my favourite meals to eat.  The kids love it and you will find it is a great Summer time dinner that you will want to make again.  It does take a little preparation time but it is so worth it. Each time I make it, I do it a little differently, maybe adding a few pine nuts into the cheese mix one time or using cannelloni tubes instead of the lasagna sheets.  Just follow the instructions below to find out what works best for you.  Don't forget to improvise along the way, that's how most of my cooking gets done.  Enjoy!!

Cannelloni Ricotta with Tomato Sauce

                                        Tomato sauce ingredients

                                        1 red onion finely diced
                                        1 800g tin of chopped tomatoes
                                        3 garlic cloves
                                        1 teaspoon sugar

                                        Cannelloni ingredients

                                        5 large silver beet leaves (stalks cut off) cut finely
                                        lasagna sheets (quick cooking ones)
                                        500g low fat ricotta cheese
                                        1/4 cup grated parmesan
                                        3 garlic cloves crushed
                                        fresh basil chopped
                                        1 egg yolk
                                        1/4 grated parmesan for topping
                                        1 cup grated colby or cheddar cheese for topping

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F.  Steam chopped silver beet until wilted and soft, but still bright green, put aside to cool.

Gently cook onion in a pan in a little olive oil until soft, add tinned tomatoes and garlic, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, you can also add some chopped basil to the tomato sauce as well as adding basil to the cheese mixture.  Add salt, pepper and a teaspoon of sugar, mix and take off stove.  Using a hand blender purée the tomato mixture to remove all lumps, then put aside.

In a bowl mix together ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, cooled silver beet, chopped basil, egg yolk and salt.

Next you need to pre-soften the lasagna sheets in a large dish with very hot water big enough to hold them.  This doesn't take very long, about 5 minutes, or alternatively you can use cannelloni tubes.  I use Barilla la collezione lasagna sheets as they soften and cook quickly and you don't have to worry about crunching into hard uncooked pasta.  Don't leave them soaking too long as they tend to stick together.

Cover the base of your large baking dish with some of the prepared tomato sauce, reserve some for covering the cannelloni.  When lasagna sheets are ready lay one out at a time, put some of the cheese and spinach mix on the end of the sheet and roll it up into the cannelloni, place in the baking dish.

If you're using cannelloni tubes, put your cheese mix into a zip lock bag, snip off the bottom corner of the bag and squeeze into the tubes.

Cover the cannelloni with the rest of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese and parmesan for the topping.

Cook for 30-40 mins in a hot oven, 200°C/400°F until golden brown.

Serve your Cannelloni ricotta with a salad and you will find it to be a lovely light but very tasty meal, perfect for those hot Summer nights.


sirpa said...

Mmmm...delicious! Even though I didn't have the silver beet leaves. And I added some of our favourite blue cheese. Next time I might introduce some more veggies to this meal. What a great vegetarian dish! Thanks, Lisha!

Suzi said...

Looks delish! It's one of my favourites but the family don't really eat it.. picky so and so's!
I always give a good grating of whole nutmeg in the mix, really makes a difference.
xxx love the pics!

sirpa said...

I love that picture of Toby! Perfect! I love this meal too. My boys love cannellonis. It's so easy to make vegetarian canneloni and not have the kids complain. I love it! The silver beet is not easy to find here so I'm making it with fresh spinach instead. It works great! I myself hate frozen spinach and anything made of it (except spinach pancakes), but couple of years ago I learned that I like fresh spinach. Who knew! BTW I really, really love your blog, so keep posting ;)