Monday, 11 June 2007

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni with Pumpkin Tomato Sauce

I love spinach and ricotta cannelloni but I find the ones typically served at restuarants are too rich for me. I decided to make my own using low-fat ricotta cheese as well as some chopped walnuts for some added texture. For a change, I also added mashed pumkin in the tomato sauce.

This will be my submission for this week's Pasta Presto Night hosted by Ruth.

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni with Pumpkin Tomato Sauce
Serves 2

8 instant dried cannelloni tubes
120g frozen spinach, cooked in the microwave
200g low-fat ricotta cheese
handful of chopped walnuts
freshly ground nutmeg
salt & pepper

1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small can of diced tomato
2 tbsp tomato paste
a pinch of dried herb (e.g. oregano, basil, sage)
250g butternut pumpkin, steamed
salt & pepper

To serve:
Grated parmesan
Chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly coat an ovenproof dish with olive oil .

The sauce: Sauté the garlic and onion in a little olive oil till golden and translucent. Add the can of tomatoes, tomato paste and herb. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Purée the sauce together with the cooked pumpkin till smooth and season. Set aside.

The filling: Place the ricotta in a large bowl. Use a fork to mash until smooth. Add the spinach, nutmeg (to taste), chopped walnuts and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Use a teaspoon to spoon the mixture evenly among the cannelloni tubes. Alternatively, spoon the ricotta mixture into a piping bag and pipe the mixture into the cannelloni tubes.

To assemble: Spoon half of the sauce over the base of the prepared dish. Arrange the cannelloni tubes, in a single layer, over the sauce. Spoon over the remaining sauce over the cannelloni tubes.

Bake: Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven for 40 minutes or until the cannelloni is tender.

To serve:
Sprinkle grated parmesan and some walnuts over the cannelloni


Ruth Daniels said...

What a fabulous twist to a great dish! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Check back for the roundup on Friday.

Em said...

I can tell that this one will be one of my favorites. I think I will try it this week in fact.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm intrigued by this sauce, Nora - pumpkin and tomato? Sounds delicious. :)

Cynthia said...

Nora this is such a winner - real comfort food. I like the idea of putting the mashed pumpkin in the tomato sauce. It is bound to mellow any tartness from the tomatoes and look at that beautiful colour!

Freya and Paul said...

When I was vegetarian, this was one of my favourite dishes (and with the walnuts!) and I still love it to this day!

Susan said...

The addition of pumpkin sounds delicious and adds to the nutrition, too. This is an excellent cold-weather meal made simple.

Anh said...

This sounds really yummy! What a comfort winter dish! :)

Nora B. said...

Thanks everyone! We really enjoyed this last night. The pumpkin was a really nice addition to the sauce. This will be a regular at our place. I may even use the sauce for some other pasta dishes.

Truffle said...

Oh how yummy! I find the restaurant versions too rich as well so this sounds just perfect for me! I think spinach and pumpkin go really well together so great addition.

Eva said...

I never tried to add pumpkin to my tomato sauce but now I will!

Em said...

I tried it for dinner tonight. It was lovely. I made a few modifications (e.g. using fresh basil and spinach) but nothing major so hopefully it tasted similar to yours... I really like the idea of the pumpkin in the sauce. I had put some pumpkin in lasagna before, but I had never actually thought of including the pumpkin in the sauce. It was delicious! Keep on the good work, chef :-)

Wendy said...

This sounds divine.