Quick, easy and delicious, this Super Simple Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni makes the perfect stress-free midweek meal, served with a simple side salad.
Super Simple Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
Think making your own Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni is hard? Well, think again… my version is quick and easy. It takes just 45 minutes from start to finish (and almost half of that is in the oven!)
Simply mix up a delicious filling of spinach, ricotta, lemon juice, basil and parmesan, then spoon or pipe the mixture into cannelloni tubes (you can buy these from most supermarkets – if you can’t, use fresh lasagne sheets instead.)
Place the filled cannelloni on a bed of garlicky tomato sauce, top with more of the tomato sauce, then pour over my quick and easy cheese sauce.
Scatter with more parmesan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until it achieves bubbly browned perfection.
Or make spinach and ricotta lasagne…
As a variation, you could use the same ingredients but turn them into a spinach and ricotta lasagne instead. Get to the end of step 8 and then layer up half the tomato sauce, then half the spinach and ricotta mixture, then a layer of lasagne sheets, repeat and then pour the cheese sauce over the top. Sprinkle over a little extra parmesan and then continue from step 10 of the recipe.
What to serve with Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni?
This Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni is perfect served with a simple green salad and, if you are feeling extra hungry, some crusty white bread or garlic bread too.
What to drink with Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni?
Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni pairs well with both red and white wines. It goes well crisp, fresh whites, such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and lighter styles of Chardonnay. Or, if you prefer red, try a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sangiovese or Merlot.
Can you reheat Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni?
Absolutely! Place any leftovers in a plastic lidded container and pop it in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 3 days. To reheat, preheat your oven to 200C (180C fan / gas mark 6 / 400F). Place the cannelloni in an oven dish and cover with foil. Reheat in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until piping hot all the way through.
Can you freeze Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni?
Yes – and it’s a great one to make in advance and freeze. Or why not make 2 at the same time? Eat one the day you make it and put the other one in the freezer.
Place the cooked and cooled Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni in a sealed container (for example, you could cover the entire oven dish tightly in foil) and pop it into the freezer, where it will keep for up to 1 month.
Defrost in the fridge for 24 hours, then reheat as above.
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Super Simple Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
- 500 g fresh spinach
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 6 basil leaves roughly torn
- 25 g parmesan grated
- 12 cannelloni tubes (or fresh pasta sheets - see note 1)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and sliced finely
- 2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 30 g butter
- 25 g plain flour
- 250 ml milk
- 25 g parmesan
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Preheat your oven to 200C /180C fan / gas mark 6 / 400F.
- Place a large colander in the sink. Put the spinach in the colander and pour over enough boiling water to wilt the spinach. Leave to drain and cool.
- Next, gently fry the sliced garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil for a minute or two. Do not allow the garlic to colour. Tip in the 2 tins of tomatoes and bring the sauce to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave.
- Next make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a medium sized pan on a low heat. When the butter is foaming, add the flour and stir until it’s mixed in. Then keep cooking for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Very gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Make sure each bit of milk is incorporated before you add the next bit. If you do this slowly on a very low heat, you should end up with a smooth sauce with no lumps. However, if it does go wrong for any reason, you can always use a whisk to beat out the lumps.
- When all the milk is incorporated, turn off the heat and add the parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- The spinach should now be cool enough to handle. Squeeze the spinach in your hands to get as much of the water out as you can, roughly chop it and then tip the spinach into a bowl.
- Add the ricotta, basil, lemon zest and lemon juice to the spinach and mix together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To assemble the cannelloni: pour half the tomato sauce into a large ovenproof dish (big enough to fit 12 cannelloni tubes on one level.) Fill each cannelloni tube with about 2 tablespoons of mixture, using a teaspoon or piping bag. Arrange the tubes in the dish. Pour over the remaining tomato sauce and then the cheese sauce, ensuring all the cannelloni tubes are well covered with sauce.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with a side salad and some garlic bread too, if you fancy.
- If you can't get hold of cannelloni tubes, use fresh lasagne sheets instead. Fill each lasagne sheet with about 2 tablespoons of mixture and roll into tubes. Arrange the tubes in the dish, seam side down, then continue with the recipe as written.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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