The hardest thing about making this recipe is filling the Cannelloni shells! But there is an easy way to do it
I like to buy the Express Cannelloni, this eliminates having to cook the pasta first.. just fill & bake. I do this for lasagne as well ( layer & bake)
I used a recipe online as inspiration for this dish..
The reason I use ricotta instead of cottage cheese which I use in lasagne is that the ricotta is drier & in my opinion is better for this recipe. You can use cottage cheese if you want but drain it so it isn’t so wet.
I have added spinach to this dish but if you don’t like spinach don’t add it!
Here is the recipe
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 500 g ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp dried basil
salt & pepper
1 200 g box express Cannelloni
2 680 ml of your favourite Marinara sauce
***if you are using an acidic marina sauce add 1 tbsp of sugar to the sauce… if you are using a sauce that already has sugar added you don’t need to do this
360 g grated mozzarella cheese
1 9x 13 pan or I used one square pan and a small 7×9 pan you could use 2 square pans
- Put the spinach into a microwave-safe bowl & microwave for a couple minutes until it is soft. Then you have to drain the liquid out of it.. I wrap it in a clean dish towel & squeeze the liquid out… you can use paper towels for this or use a colander & squish the spinach
- Now chop the spinach into small pieces & set aside
- I microwaved the onion for for 1-2 minutes until it was translucent & soft…set this aside
- In a large bowl, mix the cooked spinach & onion with the ricotta cheese & parmesan cheese
- Add the beaten egg & mix well
- Add the dried basil & season with salt & pepper, set aside
- Put enough marina sauce in the bottom of the baking dish to cover it completely and have enough sauce on the bottom as the cannelloni shells have to be completely covered with sauce … so I used about 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom
- Now you are going to fill the shells…an easy way to do this is if you have a piping bag, use it without a tip… put the bag into a tall glass, fold the wide part of the piping bag over the edge of the glass & then fill it with the ricotta filling about 1/2 full. Twist the piping bag where the filling stops so that it does not squish out the top of the bag. if you do not have a piping bag, a hint on the cannelloni box is to fill a plastic ziplock bag & snip the corner, not to much, the cut should be the size of the opening in the cannelloni
- Pipe some of the ricotta filling into each cannelloni shell then put the shell into the baking dish. Leave a bit of room between each shell. If you want you can stack the shells on top of each other
- Once you have all of the shells filled & put into the baking dish, put the rest of the marinara sauce all over the pasta..
- Cover with foil & bake at 350f for 40 minutes
- Uncover & sprinkle with the grated mozzarella cheese, recover & bake for another 10 minutes.
- Uncover & bake until the cheese is melty & browned
- Remove from the oven & let sit for 5- 10 minutes before serving
i didn’t take a picture of the Cannelloni on a plate!!! We had company for dinner & I just forgot I guess! It was really tasty though!!