SPINACH AND CHEESE CANNELLONI
- 1 bottle (720 mL) passata
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) basil, crumbled
- 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 pkg (10 oz/300 g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 1/2 lb (750 g) ricotta cheese
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) nutmeg
- 24 oven-ready cannelloni tubes
- 1 cup (250 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
To prepare sauce, combine first 6 ingredients (passata through garlic). Spread 1/2 cup (125 mL) sauce evenly over bottom of a greased 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking dish; set remaining sauce aside. To prepare filling, combine spinach, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe filling into cannelloni tubes. Alternatively, spoon filling into cannelloni tubes using a small spoon. Place filled cannelloni in a single layer on top of sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. May be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let stand for 20 - 30 minutes. Bake, covered, at 350ºF (180ºC) for 45 minutes or until bubbly and heated through and cannelloni tubes are tender. Remove baking dish from oven. Remove foil; place baking dish under broiler. Broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 8 - 10.
Cook's Note: Passata, sometimes labelled strained tomatoes, is a tomato puree that has been strained to remove the seeds. It is bottled in jars and is available in Italian markets and some grocery stores. If unavailable, use a tomato-based pasta sauce; do not use tomato paste.
The ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen used Catelli Express Oven-Ready Cannelloni in this recipe. These cannelloni tubes do not need to be cooked prior to filling.