I was a good little egg and donated blood this week. As much as I like helping others out, giving blood isn’t something I do very often because my non-gushy blood flow takes ages to fill up the bag and then I feel a bit woozy for a few days afterwards. Boo!
So in an attempt to boost my iron levels after donating, I thought a big hit of spinach would do the trick. Wanting to branch out and try something new, I decided to make a spinach and ricotta cannelloni. Then after chatting with one of the gals at the office, I decided to jazz it up by throwing some pumpkin and pine nuts into the mix. I was well chuffed with the result, it was far more delicious than I expected!
Making the cannelloni reminded me think of my childhood friend who, unfortunately for me, now lives on the other side of the country in Perth. She’s a great cook and was taught how to make some fabulous dishes by her Italian mother-in-law. This one’s for you Lyndal!
I didn’t have a piping bag to fill the tubes so I used a resealable sandwich bag and cut a hole in one corner. Next time I try my hand at cannelloni I’ll make the version from Vegetarian Bible 2 which has sweet potato, walnuts and goat’s cheese. Yum!
- 800g Kent pumpkin, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 x 400g cans plain diced tomatoes
- Pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 250g frozen spinach, thawed, excess liquid removed
- 400g fresh low-fat ricotta
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 200g instant dried cannelloni tubes
- 250g coarsely grated mozzarella
- 2 Tbs pine nuts
- In a medium saucepan cover pumpkin with cold water and simmer over medium-high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender.
- Drain pumpkin, return to the pan and mash. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly. Wipe the pan clean.
- Heat oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Stir in the tomato and chilli. Bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread ¾ cup of tomato mixture over the base of a 20 x 30cm baking tray.
- Add the spinach, ricotta, nutmeg and pine nuts to the pumpkin. Season with salt and pepper and stir until well combined.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the pumpkin mixture into a piping bag. Fill cannelloni tubes with pumpkin mixture.
- Arrange filled tubes in a single layer, in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining cannelloni tubes and pumpkin mixture.
- Pour remaining tomato mixture over the cannelloni. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake for 40 minutes or until golden.
Adapted from a recipe on taste.com.au.