Look at this monster! If you look carefully you can actually see the pasta tubes and ricotta in there 😂 A classic and healthy yet impressive pasta dish that makes an easy dinner for a group. The ricotta is made from firm tofu and cashews, and tastes really authentic both flavour- and texture-wise with the addition of spinach, pine nuts, garlic and fresh basil and sage. I’ve also topped the cannelloni with some homemade vegan mozzarella. 💚
Approximate cost to buy everything: $20
Will serve: 4 people
Time taken: 15 minutes, plus 40 minutes in the oven
The protein, iron and calcium I’m not getting from meat? All three, plus some metabolism-boosting chilli and vitamins from the lush greens.
1 200g pack dried cannelloni tubes (you can use fresh pasta sheets and roll them up if you can find egg-free ones)
Spinach and Ricotta Filling
1 batch vegan ricotta
5 tbsp frozen spinach, defrosted
50g pine nuts
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
Freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 x 600g can tomato pasta sauce
1/2 tbsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
Vegan cheese (optional)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Extra chopped fresh herbs
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 180*C.
In a bowl, combine all filling ingredients.
Fill cannelloni tubes with mixture (you may need to use a piping bag – I just used a large sandwich bag with the corner cut off). In an oven dish, spread a tablespoon of pasta sauce around. Top with half the baby spinach leaves. Lay filled cannelloni on top, and pop a few spinach leaves between them. Top with the rest of the pasta sauce and pipe on some blobs of ricotta if you have any mixture left over.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, extra herbs, salt and pepper and put in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve. 💚
A couple of notes: – This dish can be prepared ahead and stored, uncooked, in the fridge for a freshly-baked no-fuss dinner another night. – If you have any leftover ricotta mixture, you can use it for spinach puffs or put it in savoury muffins. – If you want to change it up and boost the health factor, you can lay thinly sliced Mediterranean vegetables such as pumpkin and capsicum between the cannelloni. – You can top this with vegan cheese if you like.