If you want a recipe to cram about half a kilogram of spinach into your vegetable hating significant other, child or just somebody who is ridiculously picky about vegetables this might be a winner. Spinach has got so many wonderful anti inflammatory properties its nice that its so easily incorporated into a meal.
Anyway, I know pasta and gluten containing products have a bit of a bad reputation for being less healthy, or too heavy; but I did not find this recipe too stodgy. I remained nicely satisfied all evening. Which I think is the purpose of pasta, in moderation it fills you up and stops you creeping to the fridge for a mid evening snack. I admit I was pretty liberal with my cheese adding (I am a dyed in the wool cheese lover) but I used goats cheese and buffalo mozzarella which I find a bit easier to digest.
(As a side note if you do have coeliac disease or a wheat allergy and you do fancy trying this, I suggest you try layering the spinach and tomato with these lasagne sheets I looked up for you that are gluten free. I can be a gem sometimes)
Anyway, you might have noticed I do often cook with meat, but I am trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our diet. Unfortunately this is made slightly more difficult by the fact I am pretty intolerant to a lot of pulses (cry). I don’t particularly like my lentils to be served with a side of agonising stomach cramps etc. Anyway, back to the vegetarian meals; I feel if I can keep making vegetables more exciting I might be able to convince D of the merit of Meat Free Mondays….
To make enough cannelloni to feed 3 (or 2 if your male type person is feeling particularly peckish upon waking up from a night shift) you will need:
Approx 9 cannelloni tubes (you might need more or less depending upon how much filling you get)
About 400g frozen spinach (the water will evaporate)
1 glass white wine
1 small onion
1 large clove garlic
salt and pepper
100g pine nuts
100g soft goats cheese
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Peel and slice your onion and crush your garlic. Fry over a gentle heat until soft. Add your pine nuts and lightly toast before adding your rosemary, wine, spinach, salt and pepper.
Heat until all of the spinach has loosened and is cooked through. Add your goats cheese and stir until it is fully dispersed.
Set aside the spinach to cool slightly. Using a teaspoon and your fingers stuff your uncooked cannelloni. If any Italian people want to correct me on how to do this in an authentic way please add a comment! Anyway I was obviously feeling pretty jaunty when I did my food shopping as you can see from the cannelloni I purchased.
If you have any pine nuts leftover from your pasta stuffing endeavours never fear. Just set them aside for use as topping. (There’s no point wasting them).
Cover your pasta with cold passata. Dot over your mozzarella at random and sprinkle over your pine nuts and a little more rosemary. Season with more salt and pepper as desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the pasta is cooked.
I can always tell when D particularly likes a meal as he is always up for seconds.
This might take a little longer to make than most midweek meals but I can assure you the extra effort was well worth it.