squash and spinach cannelloni

Cannelloni is a bit of a faff to make (and also to find… apparently everywhere in Glasgow bar Asda has stopped selling it, as my mum found out when she tried to pick up a “simple” ingredient for me). If you really can’t find it, I guess you could roll up tubes of fresh pasta sheets, or else use the giant shell pasta.

This makes a lot, but see above re. cannelloni being a faff and a mess – make lots then freeze some if you’re not entertaining loads of people. I was entertaining said loads of people, so didn’t have much time for photo-taking. But it did taste good! Serve with garlic bread and some salad if you fancy.

2013-11-22 21.17.23

(serves 10-12 [3-4 cannelloni tubes per female person, imagine more needed for the starving menfolk…], or freezes)

1 butternut squash, cubed and boiled for 10-15 minutes until soft (or roast if you prefer)
350g frozen spinach – thaw and squeeze dry
300g mozzarella, shredded
720g soft cheese – approx. 450-500g ricotta vs 270-220g cream cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
Cannelloni shells
6 cups marinara sauce (should be reasonably liquid – see below for a recipe)
Parmesan and cheddar, grated, to top

  1. Mix all of the above except the shells, hard cheese, and sauce together in a bowl.
  2. Fill the shells (easiest with either a small spoon or else fill a freezer bag and cut a tiny corner off).
  3. Put half the sauce on the bottom of two large lasagne oven dishes. Place the filled shells on the top, leaving room to expand. Add a little water.
  4. Cover with the rest of the sauce then sprinkle over the cheese.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes at 180oC, then remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes

Marinara sauce
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
4 cans plum tomatoes
2-3 cans water
Good slug of red wine / red wine vinegar (use with caution) (optional)
30g / a handful basil leaves, torn by hand
Salt and pepper

  1. Dice the onion and soften in a little oil. Add the garlic.
  2. Add the other ingredients apart from the basil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add the basil and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and blend.
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