Ricota Cannelloni in Chunky Tomato-Basil Sauce

Ricotta and spinach (or even kale!) is a popular filling for cannelloni. Add the freshness of tomato and basil and this is a lovely dish, perfect for winters and family dinners
Ingredients - Serves 4
  • 10-12 cannelloni shells
  • parmesan cheese, grated, optional
  • For the filling
  • 150 g ricotta cheese
  • 150 g spinach or kale, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the sauce
  • 500 g tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup passata or tomato sauce for cooking
  • 1 tsp paprika, optional
  • a handful of fresh basil or 2 tbsp dried basil
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. To make the filling
    1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan. Saute the onions till they are soft and translucent
    2. Add the chopped spinach (or kale) and ricotta and cook for 2-3 minutes
    3. Turn off the heat, add salt and ground black pepper and set aside
  3. To make the sauce
    1. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and onions and saute till the onions are soft and translucent
    2. Add the tomatoes, passata, paprika and basil and cook till the tomatoes are soft and mushy and the whole mixture has a sauce-like consistency
  4. To finish
    1. Stuff the cannelloni with the ricotta filling
    2. You can use a spoon or a piping bag or even your fingers
    3. Pour half the tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole or lasagna tray. Spread evenly
    4. Arrange the stuffed cannelloni and top with more sauce
    5. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes
    6. Serve hot with a fresh side salad
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