This filling pasta dinner is packed full of veggies!
Cannelloni isn’t something I have made before, probably because I could never be bothered to stuff the tubes 😉 Although, I must admit that these didn’t take that long to fill using a teaspoon – at first I did attempt to use a piping bag, but those things have never been my friends so I rapidly reverted to the simple spoon!
The resulting dish had a lovely sweetness from the butternut – I imagine that kids would especially love it and they would never guess the flavour came from a vegetable. If you aren’t sure whether the sweetness is to your taste, and you don’t need the dish to be vegetarian, add some cooked bacon to the cannelloni filling. Bacon is the perfect match for butternut.
A green salad and some garlic bread are the ideal accompaniments.
Ingredients – serves 4:
500g/1 lb butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded, diced into small chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 250g/9 oz frozen spinach, ideally finely chopped, thawed and excess liquid drained
- 250g/9 oz ricotta
- black pepper, to season
- 250g/9 oz dried cannelloni tubes (I used Barilla)
- 450g/16 oz tomato passata
- 1 cup grated cheese (I used ‘tasty’, which is like cheddar)
- green salad and garlic bread, to serve
- Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F.
- Spread the diced butternut over a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter over the garlic.
- Roast for about 20-25 minutes or until the butternut is tender.
- Place the roasted butternut into a bowl and mash until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Once the butternut has cooled, stir in the spinach, ricotta and a good seasoning of black pepper.
- Fill the cannelloni tubes with the butternut mixture and place into a large greased ovenproof dish.
- Once all the filled tubes are in the dish, pour over the tomato passata.
- Use a spoon to spread the passata over all the tubes, lifting a few slightly so the sauce can run underneath.
- Scatter over the cheese and season with some extra pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes, (or follow the cannelloni tube packet instructions). The dish is cooked when the pasta is tender.
- Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 5 minutes before serving with a green salad and garlic bread.