A creamy baked pasta dish with spinach and ricotta stuffed in cannelloni and covered in a tasty tomato sauce. A creamy, comforting dinner!
You can use ricotta in so many ways, like in these Ricotta Pancakes!
I love a baked pasta dish! Baking has a way of integrating the flavours and bringing out the best in all the ingredients.
Because baked pasta makes regular appearances at mealtime in my house, I’ve had to play around with more recipes. No one would be happy with the same dishes on rotation in my house!
That led me to grab a box of cannelloni from a supermarket shelf and bring this recipe together. The meal was a huge hit, which is why I had to share this Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni recipe with you! It’s such a satisfying dish, the perfect comfort food, that you’ll want it for dinner too!
Spinach and ricotta
Spinach and ricotta go together brilliantly, which is why it is such a common combination. That is why it is so often used in tortellini, ravioli or even added as a layer in lasagna.
But when I think of the two together, my mind immediately goes to Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni. It’s such a classic dish, and just such a perfect way to cook this pasta.
The creamy ricotta and spinach mixture balances perfectly with the acidic tomato sauce. When baked together and it’s pure magic!
Cannelloni vs manicotti
If you are having problems finding cannelloni, then manicotti might be available. But the good thing is that there is very little difference between the two.
Cannelloni is a traditional Italian pasta shape that has been around for a long time. Manicotti is an American version which serves the same purpose. Both pasta shapes are large tubes. And they are almost always covered in sauce and baked stuffed with a delicious filling.
There are some subtle differences. Cannelloni has a smoother surface and is slightly smaller. But the two shapes can be used interchangeably so grab whatever is available where you shop.
- ½ tomato basil spaghetti sauce (vikalinka)
- 250g/8 oz full fat ricotta
- 125g/4 oz frozen and thawed, then well drained spinach
- 50g/1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 50g/1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, extra mature
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add minced garlic, tomato passata, chopped or sliced basil leaves and dried oregano with a pinch of salt and sugar, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, chopped spinach, vegetarian hard cheese and vegetarian Cheddar cheese, salt and pepper to taste, then mix in 1 egg.
- Cover the bottom of a square 9X9 inch casserole dish with the tomato basil sauce about ¼ inch deep.
- Transfer the ricotta mixture to a large piping bag or a sandwich bag, then snip the tip with scissors. Fill each cannelloni tube with the cheese mixture and arrange the filled cannelloni on top of the sauce in the pan in a single layer.
- Cover with the remaining sauce and top with torn up fresh mozzarella, add a few basil leaves on top. Cover and bake for 25 minutes, uncover and cook for 10 minutes longer until the cheese is bubbly. Let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1071mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 25g