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Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 300 milliliters tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 bunch spinach or 100 g cooked
  • 250 grams ricotta cheese
  • 25 grams Parmesan
  • 20 grams butter or margarine
  • 30 grams cornflour
  • 300 milliliters reduced fat milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 10 cannelloni tubes (the kind that don't need precooking)
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Serves 4. Simmer chopped onion and crushed garlic in 1 Tbsp oil until softened. Stir in tomato pulp or puree (not the concentrated paste) and sugar. Remove from heat. Pour into baking dish and spread over surface. Wash spinach and drain. Remove stalks. Chop leaves. In the pan that cooked the sauce (washing unnecessary), put remaining oil and cook spinach for two minutes. Transfer to mixing bowl and allow to cool a little then stir in ricotta, Parmesan, grating of mace or nutmeg, and white pepper. Leave mixture to cool. In same pan (again, washing unnecessary), melt butter or margarine. Add cornflour and cook one minute on low heat. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Add chopped parsley. Season to taste. With spoon or piping bag, fill cannelloni tubes with spinach and cheese mixture. Place the filled tubes on the tomato sauce in a baking dish. Once all are filled and in the dish, cover the tubes with the parsley Bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for at least 45 minutes at 180 C, removing foil twenty minutes before end of cooking time, to allow to brown.

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