I’ve never made cannelloni before, but this was really simple and very tasty. I made it so that I had something other than toast or baked sweet potatoes for Theo’s lunch. To be honest, it isn’t his favourite, but I had some myself and it’s flipping tasty! He usually takes a few tries before he decides if he actually likes something or not, so I’ll give it another go with him. If he doesn’t eat it, I certainly will!
- 500g spinach (usually around 2 bags)
- 250g ricotta
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 7-8 cannelloni tubes
- 3-4 tablespoons marinara sauce (pre-bought or recipe here)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 cup grated mozzarella or cheddar
Step one: Put a pot with a small amount (around 1/2 a cup) of water on to boil. Once it is boiling, add in the spinach bit by bit, stirring as you add more in. The amount you have will seem huge when you start, but quickly cooks down to surprisingly little! Once it is all cooked, drain the spinach, pushing all of the moisture out and then rest on a couple of pieces of kitchen roll to soak up some of the extra moisture.
Step two: In a bowl, mix the spinach together with 2/3 of the tub of ricotta, the thyme, some salt (omit this if you are making it for a baby under one) and pepper, and a good amount of fresh nutmeg.
Step three: Fill the cannelloni tubes. Now, I created a piping bag by filling up a plastic bag and then cutting a hole in the bottom, but to be honest, this was still hugely messy! It genuinely would have been just as easy to do it with a small spoon and my fingers. You want them to be quite full of the mixture.
Step four: In a bowl, mix the remaining ricotta with the milk and a little bit more salt and pepper.
Step five: In a small baking dish, layer up the marinara sauce on the bottom, then add the cannelloni, then the ricotta and milk, and finally the mozzarella or cheddar.
Step six: Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes at 180′ (until the cheese has browned).
Serves two adults or more for a little one, assuming they can get past the fact that there is spinach in it!