Hey guys, how have been you doin’ these days? Pretty good, right? No matter how long the winter, SPRING is sure to come! Every new season has something beautiful to offer. The weather is getting warmer, the days longer, and spring will say farewell before you know it–summer is almost here.

Then, why not crave for a delicious warm food? -for almost spring weekend. Like? -umm, how about cannelloni? Oh c’mon, not that tough.

Cannelloni, yes -An Italian Cuisine

And also, this is not the first time I am sharing a Italian recipe, nor it will be the last.

About the CUISINE

Cannelloni are generally served baked with a filling and covered by a sauce in Italian cuisine. Popular stuffing include spinach and ricotta or minced beef. The best thing about this recipe is its totally Vegetarian.

Cannelloni – A tube shaped dry pasta. It is stuffed with filling. It does not need to be cooked before filling, it softens when baked in the oven. Instead of this, lasagna sheets are also good options to replace, if you don’t have one. Both goes well with the ingredients.

The most common variety is a spinach and ricotta filling topped with a tomato sauce which is the version I am sharing today.

Basically, I have divided the recipe into three parts!

First, the Spinach and Ricotta Filling which is creamy, has the perfect spinach to ricotta ratio, and made extra tasty with the addition of herbs and cheese. It’s so good, I can eat spoonfuls of it straight out of the bowl!

Here’s what’s in it:

Spinach – use fresh ones and gently wash them in cold water. (remove excess water before using)

Ricotta – be sure to use a food quality full fat, creamy one. (Tip: You can also use homemade just like I did )

Shredded cheese – a flavored one is best, like Amul, tasty and cheesy.

Corn – don’t skip this! It adds extra savouriness and seasoning to the filling. Just store bought or canned is fine.

Cannelloni Sauce

Cannelloni has to be covered generously with sauce to ensure there’s sufficient liquid for the dry pasta tubes to retain and cook in the oven. The most well-known sauce is a tomato pasta sauce which is the thing that I use.

There are recipes “out there” that say to just use plain canned tomatoes or tomato passata for the topping (or bottled pasta sauce).

I really, REALLY think that in case you’re putting forth the attempt to making cannelloni, it is an easy decision to make a little extra effort to simplify a pasta sauce.

“Basic” being the usable word here. It’s simply garlic + onion + squashed tomato + water, stew for somewhat, at that point mix through new basil or dried spices toward the end.

Next step is to ASSEMBLE THE CANNELLONI,
fill the lasagna sheets and roll up to set in a baking pan covered up with some grated cheese and sauce. And its done.

Let’s look into the RECIPE in detail!

INGREDIENTS

For filling,
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cups milk
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup spinach (chopped)
1/4th cup corn
1/4th teaspoon black pepper
salt, as required

2- 3 lasagna sheets. (boiled)
1 cup grated cheese

For sauce,
2 tablespoon of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 onions (roughly chopped)
3 tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon each (chili flakes & oregano)

4 tablespoon of ketchup

salt, to taste
1/2 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS

1. First, we will start by preparing ricotta.

Warm the milk : Pour the milk into a 4-quart pot and set it over medium heat. The milk will get foamy and start to steam; remove it from heat if it starts to boil.

Add the lemon juice and salt: Remove the milk from heat. Pour in the lemon juice and the salt. Stir gently to combine.

Let the milk sit for 10 minutes: Let the pot of milk sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. After this time, the milk should have separated into clumps of milky white curds and thin, watery, yellow-colored whey. If you still see a lot of un-separated milk, add another tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and wait a few more minutes.

Strain the curds: Set a strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with cheese cloth. Scoop the big curds out of the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the strainer. Pour the remaining curds and the whey through the strainer. (Removing the big curds first helps keep them from splashing and making a mess as you pour.)

Drain the curds for 10 -15 minutes: Let the ricotta drain for 10 – 15 minutes, depending on how wet or dry you prefer your ricotta. If the ricotta becomes too dry, you can also stir some of the whey back in before using it.

Next, begin by making the filling.

1. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and add  1 cup of chopped spinach with  1/4th cup of corn.
Sweat until soft, about 2-3 minutes

2.  Add on the homemade ricotta with 1/4th teaspoon of black pepper and salt as required.

3. Then, add the 2 tablespoon of grated cheese and allow it to melt with the ingredients.

And the filling is ready!

For preparing sauce,

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add on the oregano and chili flakes over medium-high heat.

next, saute the onion, garlic until fragrant and translucent. 

2. Add the roughly chopped tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. And turn off the stove.

3. Once cooled, grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste.

4. In the same pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the grind paste. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes with a cup of water.

5. Once thickened, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and ketchup and its ready to use.

Cook’s Note: Tomato sauce will last 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.

To assemble the cannelloni,

1. Take the lasagna sheets and cut into half. and place some filling over it and fold over to make a roll. Repeat it for all the sheets.

2. Grease the baking dish with olive oil and pour the tomato sauce and then some grated cheese.

Place the filled roll onto the greased dish.

3. Do this with the rest of the ingredients and arrange the rolls in a single layer. Cover with  sauce, then sprinkle remaining grated cheese.

4. Bake at 190°C for 25-30 minutes until the cannelloni is tender.

And you deliciously amazing cannelloni s are ready serve hot!

Comforting and hearty, this spinach and corn cannelloni with ricotta is so easy to make, and right in the corner. Let the house fill with the most wonderful aroma knowing a cozy dinner is on the way.

It’s everything I love about a classic Italian dish, slow- baked  — without the meat (and in a little less time, too). Comment down your views because I love to hear from you people!

Told you, It isn’t tough XD so, when are you trying yours?