This recipe is perfect for this cold weather we are having – it’s delicious comfort food that heats you up from the inside-out. The addition of butternut squash to the more traditional spinach and ricotta takes away the dryness and strength of the spinach, which I find to be overpowering. The dish keeps well and packs up nicely for lunchboxes, or can be frozen and reheated at a later date.
While the recipe is really simple, the cannelloni tubes can be pretty messy to fill, so if you prefer, you can layer this mixture with the tomato sauce on lasagna sheets to make a tasty vegetarian lasagna. I usually just go for it with my hands when filling up the tubes! Be warned – it looks pretty revolting at this stage, but I promise you it tastes delicious!
Spinach, Ricotta and Squash Cannelloni
- 1⁄2 butternut squash
- 200 g spinach
- 1⁄3 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 250 g ricotta
- Cannelloni tubes (~20 tubes)
- Tomato sauce
- 50 mL water
- Handful of grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
Preheat oven to 160 °C (fan).
Peel and dice half of a butternut squash. Cook it in boiling water for around 5 min, or until soft. Drain the water and either mash the squash, or blend in a mixer.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil on a low heat with the nutmeg. Add the spinach and cover the pot. After two minutes, stir and cover for another 2 mins.
Blend the cooked spinach in a mixer to form a purée.
Add the spinach purée to the butternut squash in a large bowl, along with the ricotta. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
Fill the cannelloni tubes using a piping bag or your hands (although this way is pretty messy, it’s very easy!) and line up in a baking dish.
Add 50 mL water to the dish, and cover the cannelloni tubes with fresh tomato sauce.
Cook in the oven for 20 min, then sprinkle some grated cheese over the top before returning to the oven for 5-10 min, until the cheese has turned golden.
Serve with a salad (or homemade potato wedges if you really want to hit the carbs!)
Tag @thecorkfork on Instagram if you try out this recipe!